Friday, May 6, 2011

Comic Review: French Milk

Well, I had HOPED that this would be a review of the rest of the Akira manga but someone else at my school went around and snatched up all the books with a week left to go in school so I wasn't able to get to the last two books. It's a bit odd that those books were checked in all year and that someone checked out books five and six while they still had a request on book four (which I had out), I'm calling it a conspiracy until further notice.
SO, I grabbed this book at my local library simply because it had the same color cover as The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam which seemed like a good reason to pick it up. Plus I like travelogues so travelogue+comics=my kind of reading!

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

Summary: To celebrate her mother's 50th birthday, almost 22 year old Lucy and her mother decide to rent an apartment in Paris for five weeks and just take in the sights and experiences of the city.

The Good: The story flows better with pictures than if it had been all words and the entries have dates so it's easy to track their progress on the trip. It's a light read and a quick one as well (I think I read it in about a day, not that graphic novels that horribly long to read to start with) and it's not badly written at all. It's just a bit, fluffy.

The Bad: In the end, the book feels a bit shallow. Lucy complains a great deal about being stressed (understandable to an extent), not sleeping well, and missing her boyfriend a lot (but shouldn't she have expected that one?). All of that combined over the whole book made it hard to keep sympathizing with her, it makes you wonder why she even went along to Paris in the first place. Also, part of the fun of a travelogue is finding about neat little places that guidebooks don't mention and really getting a feel for the place through the writer's experience. That didn't really happen here, Lucy and her mother visit just the normal tourist destinations in Paris and it didn't feel like they or the reader learned anything new about the place during their trip.

The Art: There are a few photographs scattered throughout the book but by and large the book is told through hand drawn pictures/hand written accompanying text.  The art isn't particularly detailed, it's actually rather simple looking art, but it moves the story along and stays consistent. 

So, starting off the summer vacation with a dud, not a very encouraging thought now that I think about it but, since I've nearly gone through the libraries collection of graphic novels anyway, I'm not sure how many comics I'll be reviewing this summer anyway. Guess I'll just have to get creative as to where I'm getting my reading material then....

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