Thursday, December 14, 2006

Graphic Novel A Day: Fashion High - Breaking Up

Writer: Aimee Friedman
Artist: Christine Norrie
Company: Scholastic/Graphix
Price: $8.99 ($9.99 at Amazon)

In reading the solicitations for this book from Graphix, I was pretty sure it wasn't for me. And in reading it, I discovered I was right. Aimed squarely at teenage girls, telling stories of four friends whose friendships and other relationships are suffering as they grow up, all four girls were damn near impossible for me to relate to. Not a failure on the writer's part. In fact, the writing is good, keeps the story moving, weaves subplots in nicely, builds up the melodrama effectively. I believe she accurately captured the teenage existence, but give me teenage girls more like the unrealistic but interesting Veronica Mars. I was a teenage guy, and not a popular or hot one, and so I can't really relate to the trials and tribulations of cute, popular, fashionable teenage girls, who all came off a bit flighty, dim or mean. However... I still bought it, and might buy future volumes, and here's why: Christine Norrie's art. Norrie's art impressed me when I first saw it on Hopeless Savages, and it has only improved with each subsequent project. Her work here features fine, expressive cartooning and exquisite storytelling along with surface attractiveness to make it some of the finest cartooning I've seen all year. I'm not the audience for Fashion High, and I selfishly wish that Norrie was doing work that was aimed at me... but I like her work enough that I'll pick up almost anything she does, even if the story doesn't connect.

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