by Whitney Grace
Scott never made it a a pro-football player, his girlfriend dumped him, and life seems to be leading him down a depressing path. He doesn’t have anything tying him to America, so he decides to make a career of sumo wrestling in Japan. He has the bulk and size and all he lacks is the training. Despite some reservations from his friends and his ex-girlfriend showing interest again, Scott heads to Japan and trains at a sumo school. He finds peace in the rigorous daily regiments, along with the chance to be something great.
What is interesting about Sumo is Thien Pham wrote it to mimic “the slow build and sudden resolution of a sumo match.” Pham succeeds with a non-linear story format. He switches between Scott’s life in America and Japan, showing how he changes from a sad and quiet big guy to a more confidant sumo wrestler. The comic’s true essence is the minimalist panels with brush strokes finishing off the edges and curves. The color pallet is also limited to three colors, the main color changes alerting the reader to the time and setting. The entire comic reflects Japanese simplicity and leaves the reader with a sense of peace.