Daily Archives: May 22, 2007

The Plain Truth

The Plain Janes original graphic novel
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist/Cover artist: Jim Rugg
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Shelly Bond
Publisher: DC Comics/Minx imprint
Price: $9.99 US/$11.99 CAN

DC’s Minx line has finally arrived with this inaugural release, and if The Plain Janes is any indication of what we can expect from Minx books, it’s going to be a strong imprint. This graphic novel should appeal to female readers, especially teen girls, but the characterization is so strong and the ideas so grounded yet offbeat that the book should achieve a much wider appeal. The Plain Janes taps into a modern angst about a world that seems to be growing more and more violent with every passing day. More importantly, writer Cecil Castellucci offers a story that will appeal to anyone who felt excluded by the It crowd in high school, who felt his or her parents ignored needs and pleas or who felt, well, like a teenager. The story and characterization boast definite universal qualities, but at the same time, this is about a smarter group of alienated teens. This is about constructive rebellion, but the tone of the story isn’t all that celebratory either. There’s a definitely downtrodden atmosphere at play, and the black-and-white art enhances that atmosphere quite well. Jim Rugg’s art is simple but effective. Sometimes his characters’ faces and his eye for perspective are a bit off, but overall, he conveys a convincing, realistic world in which this quirky, John Hughes-esque drama can unfold.

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Eye Wide Shut

Many readers likely noticed that Eye on Comics wasn’t accessible for more than a day around May 21. It had something to do with “kernel panicking” and the server trying to “mount the root filesystem.” It’s all very confusing and sounds suspiciously salacious to me. But what do I know.

The site’s back up now, of course, and new content has begun to flow. Anyone who sent me e-mail at my don@eyeoncomics.com address during the site outage might want to resend, as there was surprisingly few messages in my inbox once I was able to access it again. It was also apparent after the site went live again that some image files were lost in the process. I’ve replaced all of the ones I noticed missing, but if you see any broken images on the site, please e-mail me don@eyeoncomics.com and let me know about it.

In other site news, some may have noticed Eye on Comics has a new sponsor: A Wave Blue World Inc., publisher of the indy comic Adrenaline. If you enjoy my reviews and commentary, please support my efforts by taking the time to click on A Wave Blue World’s ad on the left and check out its website.

Quick Critiques – May 22, 2007

Delicate Axiom #1 (Tempo Lush)
by Richy K. Chandler

This mini-comic, produced by a writer/artist in London, defies description. At first glance, it’s something of a soap opera. The core premise of this 36-page issue is about two friends estranged from one another as each struggles to come to terms with another friend’s recent death. The people around them try to help bridge the gap between the two friends, as they know the relationship means more to them than even they realize. It seems like a well-grounded concept, but Chandler brings a decidedly surreal quality to the story by transforming some of the characters into figures from the world of fantasy. Mermaids, talking animals and angels are commonplace in this urban setting. Chandler holds off on revealing the fantastic elements, though, which comes into conflict with how the characters perceive them. The reader is meant to be awed, but that doesn’t work when the characters don’t react similarly. Furthermore, the script makes it seem as though we’ve missed out on large chunks of the story. Another friend’s death is the catalyst here, but we’re never told how he died so suddenly. This doesn’t read like an introductory issue. It seems much more like a continuation of a larger saga.

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