SPX: Not-so-minicomic review roundup

(I did post this last night — it went out over the feed so I know it existed. However, it seems to have been eaten somehow — probably my mistake, I’m sure. Sorry if you saw this before.)

The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea – Raina Telgemeier
I probably read about a half-dozen of the Baby-Sitters Club books and they were enjoyable until I began to realize you could pretty much skip the second chapter and still know what was going on (usually, it recapped what the Baby-Sitter’s Club was and explained all the characters who all fell neatly into specific “girl” types – Kristy is the sporty one! Mary Anne is sheltered! Stacy is fashionable!). After about the sixth book, I deeply wondered why they were all in first person even though they were told by different characters. That just seemed lazy to me, even at 11.

I think Raina Telgemeier’s adaptations are probably better than the original books. Her character designs are perfect – the girls look like young teenagers. Her art is animated and her faces are expressive. The graphic novel is paced perfectly. I want the other two now because I do care about what happens.. I wish I had gotten to read these when I was in the target age group, since that was right around the time I started reading comics. I would’ve been so excited to have them. I wish I knew some preteens so I could buy them these books.

Daybreak 2 – Brian Ralph
Less cute than the first volume (which appropriate, since it is a zombie story), Daybreak’s pace picks up and the plot become more intense. I like the immediacy of the writing – the main character talks directly to you – and Ralph’s blocky style and thick outlines remain distinctive. I haven’t been keeping up with Daybreak online but I hope it’s not another 8 months before the next chapter is out. I’m not much of a zombie-story fan, but I’m hooked.

Teen Power – Joe Sayers
Better known for Thingpart, this is a collection of Sayer’s five-minute comics. The drawings are crude, but the punchlines are funny. Much like Thingpart, these comics have an odd mix of darkness and innocence. Plenty of unexpected hilarity here.

Teen Boat #1-6 – John Green and Dave Roman
Much like the title suggests, this is about a teen who turns into a boat and the angst that ensues. Of course, it’s silly but in a really delightful way. I want to see this as an animated series on Nickelodeon.

Subculture of One: Spring 2006 & Fall/Winter 2006 – Rachel Nabors
Once, in college, I played Pokemon for 5 hours without even realizing it. Another time, I didn’t go to a party because the last episode of Cowboy Bebop was on (even though I’d seen it before). I can relate to this comic.

Reprinting Nabors’ comics from gURL.com, these two books give a great glimpse of what it’s like to not fit in with the people around you and not really care. Nabors’ manga- and anime-nspired artwork is clean and playful. The subject matter is sometimes sexual, but Nabors’ honesty and lighthearted attitude make these situations funny and positive. She’s discussing things girls deal with every day. I’m not surprised her comic is so popular on gURL.com. I’m a little bit outside the target age range, but in her, I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit.

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