Ahhh the graphic novel. Lovely lovely. I have been a fan of graphic novels and comics since my last year of highschool when my friend Jeff took my to the comic shop and introduced me to The Question. I then moved on to Mr. X, Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, Black Orchid, and lucky for me that was the year that Sandman arrived. I had to stop buying in university for a while, as the cash flow was thin. Then, as a grown up I got into more of the indy titles. Last year Blankets blew my mind.
I got Serenity Rose - Volume 1: Working Through the Negativity in the mail to review.
I wasn't sure what to make of it at first. I knew it was a gothy gn, but other than that I wasn't sure what to expect. I was a bit confused. The beginning is wordy. Quite wordy. I then got sucked in to the fun.
Serenity Rose is a witch. A reluctant one at that. Her reputation precedes her, and that has turned her into somewhat of a hermit. She is living in the secluded town of Crestfallen. She does have some friends. There is Tess, Kelton and Mary Ann.
We are slowly introduced to her story...including the unfortunate demise of her mother and father, her disdain for the "scene", as well as the "bus incident" and reasons for it.
This is a fun read, but buried within is a scathing social commentary. Politics, music, pop culture, sexuality and loyalty are all topics that are touched upon or explored.
The illustrations are a bit more "japanime" style than I tend to like. Serenity's nose makes her look a bit like a clown which is a problem for me. (Don't like those clowns!) The black and whiteness of it all really works for the story, but prepared to need lots of light while reading. Remember...lots of text! There are quite a few 80s references to bands that were quite fun (like "Joy Divisor"...wonder who that was!) and there is a great club scene with patrons numbered and their traits outlined along the page edges.
Overall this gn is very clever, cute and a bit spooky at the same time.