Zine Review: Wog Mum

Wog Mum 1
Mel Buttigieg

Wog Mum is a black and white comic zine of life snippets from an Australian kid who grew up in a Maltese household (and the humour that follows).

Funny family anecdotes told in comic style? Yes please.

Okay, so full disclosure is that families seem a bit of a slightly strange thing to me as I had to disconnect from my biologicals a long time ago. That being said, it just makes me find all the funny loud family anecdotes all the more interesting and funny.

Mel opens up with a brief introduction to the zine, the inspiration behind it (Mel’s mum), and Malta. From there, we launch into 12 pages of comics that made me smile and a few times laugh out loud. Even the back cover has a bit of Malta Mum goodness to make you smile.

From food to family heirlooms (‘heirlooms’?), Mel covers a lot of funny mum moments in a little space. Mel’s art style is fun and on the cartoon side of the art which, in my eyes, totally suits the style and tone of the humour. I like how Mel worked in a couple of actual photos, too. (To show the particular heirloom in question in one case! Hehe.)

In the back of the zine there is a recipe for a go-to Maltese snack, which I not only found fun (yay! new recipe to try!) but also found funny given the comic clips that involved food or questions about food. It’s one of those unexpected things I love finding in zines – the things you don’t expect to find but end up working so well in the zine anyway.

Wog Mum 1 was a fairly fast read, but I did go back again a few times to enjoy the clips, style, and humour again. I think it’s a good, fun, warm zine that many will enjoy. I’m looking forward to checking out the next one. (Yes, there is a Wog Mum 2!)

*From Etsy: Malta is a small European island country in the central Mediterranean inhabited by about 437,000 people.

Its traditions are odd, the people are loud, and the old school women are notoriously stubborn – my mum being one of them. So I thought I’d make a zine about her.

On the use of the word “wog” the Maltese-Australian artist says:

“I use it as a term of endearment (as do my family and ethnic mates), with the word originating from the acronym Worthy or Western Oriental Gentleman. It’s generally a term used these days in Australia without a negative meaning, more to establish a cultural grouping. We wogs are proud of our culture and my zine means no disrespect to any ethics.”

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