Old Master "Q" (or in Chinese: "Lao Fu Zi") is a series of comic books, created by artist and writer Alphonso Wong, that have gone on since 1962 to the present day. The comics revolved around four main characters: Old Master "Q" (the old guy in a Chinese suit and a vest with three circles), Mr. Chin (the younger guy always wearing a cross-hatch shirt and slacks), Big Potato (A very short old man whose head is shaped like a potato dressed like OMQ but with a black vest), and Mr. Chow (the bald guy and an occasional jerk).

With six panels arranged in two-by-three, running from the right hand corner to the bottom left, artist Alphonso Wong whips up quick little ditties. Most of the comics revolve around things like Old Master "Q" getting into trouble in things like dating, living in the city, or chilling with his buddies. The humor of these comics run in the vein of Charlie Chaplin or Monty Python. The characters don't start out with any specific, pre-existing situation but they carry out the stories like actors. In one comic, OMQ can be a guy doing city planning work for Spaghetti-shaped highways, and the next one he can be learning the lessons of being a junkie. You don't have to know the Chinese language in order to enjoy all of the comics, for most of them are done in the style of Charlie Chaplin's silent comedies. The later comics (especially in the 1990's) have short but sweet commentaries on stuff about illegal drugs and the Hong Kong handover to China in 1997, but they have never gotten directly preachy.

I'll give you an idea from one of the paperbacks I've bought yesterday...

"French Greeting"

  1. Mr. Chow (to OMQ, walking together and pointing forward off-scene): He's an associate from France, and he's a very friendly guy...
  2. Mr. Chow greets the French guy for a hug while OMQ stands by.
  3. Mr. Chow and the Frenchman hug each other and give each other a european cheek kiss.
    OMQ: . o O (Gay?)
  4. Mr. Chow and the Frenchman complete their hug-and-cheek-kiss greeting.
  5. Mr. Chow (to the Frenchman): And he is Mr. Old Master "Q." OMQ and the Frenchman greet each other, leading to...
  6. OMQ kisses the Frenchman on the lips. Mr. Chow gives a "Huh!?" look, and the Frenchman the same.

Old Master Q's stories are also told in a few ongoing series in magazine form, three animated movies, and the computer-drawn and live-action "Old Master 'Q' 2001." I have the second animated movie on Video CD, based on the "Water Margin" story as listed below.

In a personal level, I've read a lot of OMQ comics since the 80's to the early 1990's... Why did I stopped before yesterday I didn't know. My last memory was an ongoing series about OMQ having superpowers from some guardian spirit of the fox, and fighting a woman with the same powers... With those powers, OMQ was invincible until the villain kissed him - lust was one weakness.

References

  1. The Official Old Master "Q" (Lao Fu Zi) web site - http://www.oldmasterq.com - A short biography of Alphonso Wong, and comics from the collection every day!
  2. Tim Gallaher's web site about OMQ - http://www-hsc.usc.edu/~gallaher/laofuzi/laofuzi.html
  3. Old Master Q in the Water Margin - http://oldmasterq.virtualave.net/index.htm - It's completely chinese - OMQ and friends travel back in time to become the Outlaws of the Water Margin!
  4. The History of Old Master "Q" - http://members.nbci.com/_XMCM/hkmuseum/comic/oldmaster/ - If I knew Chinese, I would certainly read this!

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