The Yuan Twins, John and Matt, have a new comic coming out from Devil’s Due/1First Comics. It is a comedy in the same tradition as Serving Supes. This time out it’s a family comedy that focus on solving mysteries and the occult. John and Matt were nice enough to stop my First Comics News and catch us up on Inspector Oh before the first issue comes out October 5th. You can reserve you copy with your local retailer now.
First Comics News: Who is Inspector Oh?
Matt Yuan: Inspector Oh is an exorcist wandering around medieval China with his niece Ziyi. Together they solve mysteries and help the people who are facing dire supernatural threats.
1st: He reminds me a lot of Inspector Clouseau, is that intentional?
John Yuan: Ha, it is entirely unintentional. Despite being incompetent, Inspector Clouseau always believes that he knows everything and is thus clueless but confident. Inspector Oh is entirely capable, but he just gets so excited by the prospect of a new mystery to solve that he often forgets to think things through.
1st: Is he an actual inspector or is that his name?
Matt: He is an inspector, although not in any official sense. Even though he tends to be reckless, he likes to solve things through deductive reasoning rather than brute force, which is where he and Ziyi tend to disagree. Oh is not his real name, as there is no Chinese name like that, rather it is an onomatopoeia denoting surprise or shock – an appropriate handle for someone who deals with ghosts and demons on a regular basis, right?
1st: When most Americans think of an Exorcist they think of a Roman Catholic Priest saving a little girl. Is this story more like the Exorcist or Ghost Busters (the good one)?
Matt: Ha. This series’ approach to exorcism will be more akin to those awesome 70’s Hong Kong martial arts films – Mr. Vampire being a prime example.
1st: Most Americans are unaware of Chinese Folklore. What is the history of Chinese Exorcism?
John: Chinese exorcism, as portrayed in Inspector Oh, has its roots in Taoist mysticism, which arose around the 4th to 3rd century BC China, a time known as the Warring States Period.
1st: What are the different types of spirits inhabiting the world of Inspector Oh?
Matt: Chinese folklore is full of multiple kinds of spirits. There are ghosts and demons, fox spirits, the list goes on and on.
1st: Who is Junjei?
Matt: Junjei’s origin will be explored as the story goes on. What we do know now is that he was a fellow exorcist and that he is Inspector Oh’s sworn brother and that he disappeared sometime when Ziyi was very young.
1st: Are they actual brothers?
John: Inspector Oh and Junjei are not biological brothers, but the act of swearing brotherhood makes their relationship just as sacred, if not more so, than simply sharing parents.
1st: Who is Chao Feng?
Matt: Chao Feng is another character we will be exploring as the series goes on. What the reader should know now is that Chao Feng is Junjei’s wife and Ziyi’s mother.
1st: Why would Junjei and Chao Feng trust their child, Ziyi to Inspector Oh?
John: The relationship between Junjei, Chao Feng, and Inspector Oh is something we hint at in the beginning but will reveal fully as the series goes on. Junjei and Chao Feng adventured with Inspector Oh for years before Ziyi was born and they were closer than family. There was no one else in the world they would have trusted with their daughter.
1st: Who is Rock?
John: Rock is a figment of Inspector Oh’s imagination given physical form. How that happened, nobody knows.
1st: What should all fans know about Inspector Oh before the first issue ships in October?
Matt: They should know that the subject matter of Chinese folklore, mythology, and history has fascinated us since we were kids and we have taken all of that enthusiasm and joy and injected it into this series. We promise them it is going to be a heck of a ride!