Pullbox Reviews Inspector Oh: Oh, Uncle, Where Art Thou?, fantastic family-friendly reading

Follow exorcist INSPECTOR OH and his intrepid niece ZIYI as they travel through ancient China, battling supernatural menaces wherever they may find them. When Oh is robbed of his memories and trapped in Hell, will Ziyi be able to rescue? Few people would know what to do when they’re surrounded by demons but Inspector Oh does!  At least he would if he weren’t suffering from amnesia!  Can Ziyi buy her uncle enough time to recover his wits or are they doomed to spend an eternity in the underworld?

Ziyi is a sharp young exorcist whose ambition will take her to hell and back for the sake of her Uncle. Literally, she travels to hell… one of them, at least (Chinese have a lot of hells)… after receiving a letter from her Uncle, the renowned Inspector Oh. The message was sent prior to his untimely demise, and informs Ziyi that if it’s been delivered to her it means something terrible has happened. For the sake of all who might suffer at the hands of someone foul enough to actually send Inspector Oh into the afterlife, Ziyi has a lot on her plate. Luckily for everyone involved, she’s got an appetite for adventure!

Being an exorcist can be serious business. Thankfully, this book isn’t really all that grim, deaths, demons, and trips to hell aside. Instead, the Yuan Twins & 1First Comics present the first in what I really hope is a long-running series of titles featuring Inspector Oh & his intrepid niece Ziyi. With all of the action of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but none of the melancholy, this is a tale of family bonds, action & adventure, with humor and history thrown in to boot.

If I had to come up with a general comment on Matt & John Yuan’s growing library of titles, it would be that I haven’t been too sure of what to expect from one book to the next. Where some creators will find a comfortable niche and settle in, the Yuans seem pretty happy to spread their creativity across multiple genres. Where Love Town was more of a hard-bitten detective story about murder & vampires, this first entry into the world of Inspector Oh is a fun-filled trip into Chinese history and myth that’s suitable for readers of any age. What sets Oh, Uncle, Where Art Thou? apart from the rest are the breaks in the action where the Yuans take the time to explain Chinese cultural references in their story. Read a comic, be entertained, & learn some stuff along the way. What could be better?

Hey, I know this one! All of that stuff, wrapped up in a slick little hardcover edition featuring some really cool artwork. Matt Yuan has a stripped down, sleek style that leaves no excess clutter on the page and takes nothing at all away from the action. In the finest tradition of Wuxia, Matt’s fight scenes are dynamic and do honor to the action stars the characters may or may not have been inspired by (Ziyi?). And with all of the brushes with the supernatural, the illustrations set up some really great moments of revelation.

While Oh, Uncle, Where Art Thou? is absolutely suitable for readers of all ages, it’s by no means a chore for more mature (debatable) comic lovers. Nothing gets too heavy for the kids, and there are some moments of great character drama layered in for anyone interested in looking. I’m hoping that this is just the first in a long line of instalments…

Final Score: 13/13

(Apologies for the glare in these preview pages… I couldn’t find anything good online, so I took some snapshots of my own copy of the book)

Pages like this are found throughout the book, educating and entertaining… nice job, Yuans!
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