This time around, it's the high school delinquent action/comedy, THE BOSS by Jae-Won Lim.
High school delinquent comics typically fall into one of two categories: either it's about bad-asses fighting over control over the school, or they're odd-ball comedies. This is the latter. Well, it's supposed to be, anyway.
The premise of the BOSS is simple, but scattered, let's say. Sang Tae Hyun is the toughest kid at Woo Sang High School and everybody knows it. When a mix-up leaves him thinking his girlfriend, Ji Hyun, has stood him up for a date (and leaves her thinking he's stood her up), he tries to send her a note to clear things up, only for things to get even muddier when an unpopular girl ends up with the note, believing its for her and that Sang Tae is asking her out. Add to the mix a gang from a rival school wanting revenge on Sang Tae for a perceived insult. They kidnap the unpopular girl after hearing she plans to meet Sang Tae, and believing she is his girlfriend, get word to Sang Tae (who is tough, but none-too-bright) that they have his girl and away we go to teenaged warfare.
From there, it's a constant stream of fistfights and bad jokes.
I realized quickly that this wasn't the comic I thought I'd bought, but I liked Lim's art--I found it comforting nostalgic, bringing to mind the 90s--and I'd bought it so why not keep reading. The art is really the only thing I liked, though. The story races along at a breakneck speed, moving so quickly that it was obvious Lim had no real plot or plan in place, as Sang Tae keeps tripping from one altercation to the next with little purpose to most of the individual fights. A flurry of rarely-funny jokes attempt to prop things up but fail - often spectacularly. Maybe it's a case of them not translating well from the original Korean, but I think it's more likely that they're just bad jokes to begin with.
I didn't hate this comic, but I also didn't like it. It took less than half an hour to read the 177 pages and I felt a little cheated. I really don't recommend it.
I do like Lim's art, though, as I said, so if I see anything else with his name on it, I'll at least give it a flip-through.
Epilogue: If anyone knows the name of the manhwa I'm describing below, please let me know.
I thought THE BOSS was a different manhwa as I said, but I have no idea what the title of that other comic is now, since it being "THE BOSS" was firmly lodged in my brain until I read the book. The comic I'm thinking of has the basic following plot, as I recall from a summary I read online somewhere:
A wimpy kid is bullied by the meanest, toughest kid in school. Through an accident, the bully is injured after announcing he's going to kick the wimpy kid's ass and somehow, people assume the wimpy kid is secretly a bad-ass and beat up the school bully, leaving him the new, unwilling leader of the school's top gang. Comedy, presumably, ensues.