High school is a pretty crazy time: either you don’t fit in or, even if you do, you always wonder if you could fit in better. Lots of confusion. It’s a wonder that anything ever gets done with all these emotional fluctuations and raging hormones. Enter a pint-sized Hispanic girl named, Jonesy. She could have had it all, friends, admirers, lovers, but she chose to be weird. Not really an intentional thing on her part. But, as you can see in the first issue of this limited series comic book, Jonesy is a girl on a flight path all her own.
JONESY is brought to you by Boom! Studios and brings together the comic talents of writer Sam Humphries and artist Caitlin Rose Boyle with colors by Mickey Quinn and letters by Corey Breen. This comic will appeal not only to fans of Bryan Lee O’Malley, what with his outspoken characters in poppy shenanigans, but also to that broader demographic: anyone who survived high school. Jonesy has found a way to not only survive but to thrive: she has magic powers! Well, some might say that’s a cop out to have a kid on the margins rely upon her super powers. And that’s okay. Her super powers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
As you’ll find out in this hilarious first issue, Jonesy appears to have the power to make people fall in love. What will she do with such power? It seems like she should be able to rule the school as she parades around with whoever she casts under her spell. Not so easy. Much like everything else in high school, Jonesy’s control of her powers is awkward and emerging, at best. This first issue offers up an original and lively comic that will be fun to keep up with. I think Jonesy has won me over and she didn’t have to cast a spell on me either.
JONESY is available now. For more details, visit our friends at Boom! Studios right here.
Tacocat at Seattle’s Townhall
It’s always a treat to get to see one of your favorite artists in person. In this case, we got a chance to listen to one of Seattle’s hottest bands, Tacocat, and we got an in depth conversation between The Stranger’s Paul Constant and cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley. It was a very special night at Seattle’s Town Hall that included most of the creative team behind the graphic novel, “Seconds.” (Read my review here) On hand were drawing assistant Jason Fischer and colorist Nathan Fairbairn. Letterer Dustin Harbin couldn’t make it. O’Malley explained his absence as having to do with him being in North Carolina. It came off as funny and that’s how he meant it. Of course, he expressed his undying gratitude to all his creative team. Overall, the tone of the event was lighthearted, a bit ironic, and just what you’d expect from the creator of one of the coolest comics around, Scott Pilgrim.
Any number of people, places, and things stick in our memory and we wonder sometimes what it all means. In Bryan Lee O’Malley’s new graphic novel, “Seconds,” we have a character, Katie, who wonders and wishes about her life constantly. She’s 29-years-old and on the brink of something new in her life but she’s very uncertain about the future. And then, one fateful night, a little goblin girl sits atop her dresser offering some relief from all her worries.
“Rachel and Penny” is spot on good stuff. Webcomics are a tricky thing. It is basically a character-driven endeavor. It can be a wacky sense of humor thing and nothing more. But, if you’re a talented creator who believes in good storytelling, believes in good characters, then so much the better. This is exactly what Lauren Zuke has accomplished.
Filed under Humor, Webcomics
As is the case with any rising indie star, now is the time for Bryan Lee O’Malley to take it up with a big house, as in Random House. “Seconds” looks like a wonderful vehicle for O’Malley’s sense of whimsy. Having much of the action set in a diner should provide a good grounding. This can’t help but make it onto many a list of the best graphic novels for 2014.
Comics Alliance is really showing the love for this book. You can check out much of their excellent coverage right here.
You can visit Mr. O’Malley at his website here. And check out Random House where you’ll see that this baby is slated to take on the world on July 15, 2014. Check that out here.
“Giant Days #1” is just what the doctor ordered if you’re in need of some rather droll humor. John Allison has been dishing out his humor, dry and stylish, for many years. Fans of Allison’s “Scary Go Round” are fiercely devoted to the misadventures of Shelly Winters, which you can check out here. Allison has gone beyond the youthful misadventures of Scary to the schoolgirl sleuths in “Bad Machinery.” And, in between, he created “Giant Days,” featuring Esther de Groot, just starting university, and always ready to get into trouble.
The characters in Giant Days are all quite young, full of spunk, and part of a way of looking at the world, all deadpan and cute. The quirk factor in Allison’s comics falls right in with comics by Kate Beaton and Bryan Lee O’Malley. All three cartoonists don’t seem to have a mean bone in their bodies. Their characters may say things that are snarky and yet they also come across as quite vulnerable, never much of a threat to anyone. Even when things come down to pounding fists and kicks, the genius to keep to a cartoony distance repels any real harm. That is a big part of the appeal. These characters can say and do anything and remain in a cartoon safe zone. That’s the story of a lot of great comics.
You would think this sort of thing is such a piece of cake. The art appears rather simple, yes? The jokes seem so casual and carefree, yes? But, no, it’s not easy cake. It’s not even easy cupcake. The process can be magical, enjoyable, and may seem easy. But it requires the right type of cartoonist: diligent, brave, and full of wit. So is the case with Allison. In Giant Days, he gives us one Esther de Groot, all cute and idealistic. She loves the cerebral and the misfit. Those are the types she wants to hang out with as she starts her life, away from home. But, given her cuteness, the cool girls want to take her as one of their own. Of course, they never expected Esther to have a mind of her own. Sarcastic remarks are made. Cat fights ensue. All in all, just the sort of comic to enjoy with a nice tea and crumpets.
Visit John Allison’s website here. And check out Giant Days over at ComiXology here.