Shenanigans original graphic novel
Writer: Ian Shaughnessy
Artist/Cover artist: Mike Holmes
Editor: James Lucas Jones
Publisher: Oni Press
Price: $14.95 US
Oni Press boasts a diverse array of material among its various releases over the years, but when I think of Oni, I think of strong, grounded, slice-of-life storytelling. The publisher has offered a great lineup of original graphic novels over the years as well, from Lost at Sea to 12 Reasons Why I Love Her. Oni Press rarely disappoints, so that’s why I was so excited to see this latest graphic-novel release cross my desk (despite its somewhat goofy name). As I delved into the book, I was surprised by the first scene, as it focuses on a rather off-putting character. Still, I continued on, eager to see what this 20-something corner of St. Louis had in store. I’ll give former Oni intern Ian Shaughnessy credit for one thing… he’s definitely tapped into some believable characters and the kind of relationship I’ve seen others experience. But in the end, I found I really didn’t like these characters all that much, and his incorporation of a sitcom-esque plot twist in the middle of the book interfered with the character dynamics rather than contributed to them. The art serves the tone of the script quite well, and I’d be interested in seeing more work from industry newcomer Mike Holmes. Ultimately, Shenanigans isn’t a bad graphic novel, just a slightly flawed foray into the slice-of-life genre and not nearly as strong as other Oni fare.