‘Damn Tourists #1:’ Comic Book Review

What happens when four clueless tourists descend on the island of Oahu and their inadvertent impact on local government is the premise of this cute satirical look at Hawaii.  Written and illustrated by indie comic creator, Allen G. Carter, the comic takes a look at both a tourist and an insider’s perspective of tourism and modern Hawaiian culture.

When Mr. Postcard, Mr. Oblivious, Ms. Informed, and Mr. Aloha arrive, the poor island of Oahu does not stand a chance.  Using a tourist guide from 1968 and with Mr. Aloha wearing a shirt so loud it hurts your ears, these fast friends not only manage to avoid getting robbed but annoy pretty much everybody. In the meantime, the locals are desperately trying to solve a traffic gridlock problem that has being going on far too long. The local government attempts to placate the residents by providing solutions which are scarier than the original problem. Though our guys pretty much define the term “ugly tourists,” they unwittingly become part of the solution to the traffic problem.

I definitely enjoyed what Mr. Carter was attempting to do with the story and found much of it very funny, but I wonder if he could have pushed the satirical boundaries a bit more. Dealing with gridlock is something many of us can relate to, but it’s also very safe. He touches upon some of the more unsavory aspects of life in Hawaii with the attempted robbery and the tourists’ naïve reaction to it, but all is not well in paradise, and I think he could have dug a little deeper into the social/welfare issues facing that great state. Using his “fearsome foursome” as an innocent reflection of the ideal of Hawaii will serve him well.

The art was fine, though I found all of the faces had the same look about them. This is obviously stylistic but is something that I don’t personally enjoy. There is also an error in where he explains some useful pidgin terms for the reader. (He forgot to add the end quote to “Another” on the second page, leading us to think he was missing a word.) The lettering is basic, but serviceable.

My gut reaction is that Mr. Carter is just ramping up his use of our tourists’ perspective in order to provide much-needed social commentary on the social inequities that exist in life in paradise. I look forward to seeing how he develops this comic in future issues.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 March 2015 15:35

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