Mail Order Bride

Written by on March 13, 2014 in Arts, Worldwide Korea Bloggers

Mark Kalesniko Mail order bride

Today I want to talk about one of my all time favorite graphic novels.
Mail Order Bride by Mark Kalesniko.
The story centers around the relationship between the Korean Kyung Seo and the Canadian Monty Wheeler.
Mark Kalesniko Mail order bride 2

Mark Kalesniko // Mail Order Bride // pg. 74

Monty is a nerdy loner, owner of a comic store. At 37 he never had a girlfriend before. To him “ordering” Kyung is a great idea as he has this image of the docile, submissive housewife stuck in his head. A China doll that will adore him. A serious case of yellow fever as they say. Kyung is nothing like his fantasy.
Kyung wants to leave her past behind her. She’s not sentimental about her culture and is searching for her individuality. She stands up for herself.
Mark Kalesniko Mail order bride 3

Mark Kalesniko // Mail Order Bride // pg. 18

The story slowly escalates as neither can be happy in this settlement. Monty loses his ideal as Kyung tries to break free. She starts taking art classes and makes friends that change her individual journey even more.

The build up in this story is incredibly well done. The events shape the characters, they are portrayed very realistically. You can imagine people like Monty and Kyung existing.
Their personalities are not just black and white. It would have been easy for the author to make Monty just the horrible bad guy. But both characters have many layers. As the story evolves you kinda get where they both are coming from. At some points you can feel sympathetic towards Monty and his story. Just as much as you are rooting for Kyung to become her own person. Their psychological changes are so interestingly done.
Mark Kalesniko // Mail Order Bride // pg. 172

Mark Kalesniko // Mail Order Bride // pg. 172

I don’t want to give too much of the story away. I’m just going to highly recommend it to you. It was one of the first graphic novels I bought 10 years ago. And it’s still one of my favorites. It’s one you can reread many times, and every time you get something new out of it.  

This post is originally posted by Lili on the LiliBayou blog and may not be reposted without permission

About the Author

Lili Bayou

Hi, call me Lili. I am a twenty-something from Belgium. After I studied illustration I wanted to broaden my horizons. I worked as an au pair in China until my heart lured me to South Korea. I decided to blog about my experience living here. So I could share it with friends, family and anyone who enjoys a little wandering. If you would like to see more check my blog:, or facebook page: