Geek-Girl #0 (Actuality Press)
by Sam Johnson & Sally Thompson
The writer and creator of this project, Sam Johnson, sent along a review copy, and the title boasted a campy charm, so I figured I’d enjoy what I assumed was a satirical take on the super-hero genre. There’s definitely a tongue-in-cheek quality at play throughout the comic book, but the story seems to toe the line between satire and convention. What’s off-putting about Johnson’s writing here is his characterization. Just about every character is distasteful in some way. The title character comes off as opportunistic and petty, determined to steal what eventually becomes the source of her power in order to stick it to a guy she doesn’t like. Supporting players in the story come off as being just as shallow, if not moreso. By the time I got to a thinly veiled reference to casual anal sex in the script, I felt completely alienated by the writing. The scene transitions are awkward as well. The unfortunate thing is the core premise is kind of cute and would resonate somewhat in genre fan culture.
Sally Thompson’s artwork boasts an initial appeal. At first, there’s a softness to the title character’s features, and Thompson’s style at first reminded me of Takeshi Miyazawa’s cute, Amerimanga artwork. But as the story progressed, the quality of the linework seemed to deteriorate. By the end of the book, it looks as though the art was inked using a finger rather than a fine brush or nib. The design for the heroine’s costume is gratuitous in nature, but it’s obvious Johnson’s property is about exploring (or poking fun at) a bookish kind of sexuality that’s popular in geek culture. Geek-Girl strikes me as an amateur effort that would benefit from some editing guidance and more artistic experience. 3/10