Review: Gudetama-Love for the Lazy
Sanrio’s latest great creation, the lazy egg Gudetama, comes to comics in Gudetama: Love for the Lazy by Wook-Jin Clark. This comic is hilarious, relatable, and sometimes pretty weird as this surprisingly thick raw egg mascot. Gudetama is a collection of short stories and vignettes where Gudetama gives dating advice, and there are some actual great ideas in here sprinkled in with the obvious trolling.
Wook-Jin Clark’s background working on adorable licensed properties like Bee and Puppycat as well as the food-centric comic Flavor serves him well in this book where Gudetama can go from hiding in its shell to be a part of a very yummy bowl of ramen. He understands that the raw egg works best as a kind of “host” for these stories a la Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, but more of a slacker and interjects with one-liners and weird transformations when the story needs it.
At times, Gudetama is an aspirational figure. It’s effortlessly cool and laid back, and people like it in spite of it not trying so hard. Gudetama is a cross between an angel and devil on your angst-ridden saying, “Take it easy, and don’t take things too seriously.” It’s great making a Tinder profile.
Gudetama: Love for the Lazy is at its best and most wholesome when it’s in short story mode. There’s the saga of two cosplayers falling in love, another story about the struggle of dating solely “IRL” instead of in the online world, and one about partners dealing with a cat affection issue through the power of hugs. My personal favorite one features the gamer Tobi, who wants to go from being married to a centaur to dating in meatspace. His story has a lot of humor with his sushi date featuring an actual nightmare human, who hunts animals for a living, and Wook-Jin Clark nails the awkward half hug, half handshake from a date that didn’t really have many sparks. However, Clark gives the conclusion of the story a warm underpinning as he turns its gamer aesthetic to eleven and has Tobi find real connection while on another date at an arcade bar. This confirms my theory that arcade bars are fantastic date spots even if you suck at most video games like yours truly.
Another reason why Gudetama: Love for the Lazy resonated with me is that it’s a romance comic disguised as a licensed comic. Its tales of relationship woes in pitfalls between short advice column-esque sketches and supplemental material, like a game where you progress through the various post-breakup stages. Wook-Jin Clark uses Gudetama as a vessel to show the awkwardness of dating (Especially the online kind.) and building connections and relationships while also providing hope with the sarcasm.
Gudetama: Love for the Lazy is Modern Love for anxious slackers who would rather be flirting with their Twitter crushes, playing a video game, or going to town on a bowl of ramen than dealing with the rituals of dating in 2020. Wook-Jin Clark’s writing and art is sharp, yet gentle and shows that a raw egg with a nice butt and an even better attitude can make anyone smile. (Gudetama needs a nap though.)
Story: Wook-Jin Clark Art: Wook-Jin Clark Letters: Tom B. Long
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy