Daily Archives: June 16, 2008

I Can’t See the Forest for the Teens

Burnout original graphic novel
Writer: Rebecca Donner
Arist/Cover artist: Inaki Miranda
Gray tones: Eva de la Cruz
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Shelly Bond
Publisher: DC Comics/Minx imprint
Price: $9.99 US/$11.99 CAN

Whenever a new Minx graphic novel hits the stand, I take a look. I’ve rarely been disappointed by the imprint’s books, and there’s no denying that one of its advantages is how it exposes new or lesser-known voices in comics to readers. I’ve read nothing of novelist Rebecca Donner’s work before, but I enjoyed the quiet tone, her sullen characters and slightly off-the-wall premise. On the surface, this seems to be a teenage love story set against the backdrop of an environmental message, but on closer inspection, Donner boils the socio-economic complexities of the issue down to a simpler, more balanced level. Perhaps my favorite aspect of her plot is that this is a coming-of-age story for more than just the teenage protagonist. Artist Inaki Miranda is the one who makes the most of this North American coming-out party, though. His soft lines and eye for detail really help this unusual story to come to life. His work boasts a nice mix of American, European and Asian influences, which should make for a broad appeal. Burnout definitely stands out as another creative success for the Minx line, but unfortunately, the question remains why such creative successes aren’t translating into stronger sales.

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