Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Comic Review: Blue Monday (volume 1: the kids are alright)

Bit of a quick one tonight since I've had an on-again-off-again headache, plus this was a fairly short book (issue? It had four chapters in it but I'm afraid I don't know the American terms for these sorts of comics). Wouldn't mind reading the rest of the series but doubt I'll find them anywhere near me soon.

Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston-Major
 Summary: Life is strange when you're a teenager but Bleu Finnegan and her friends Alan, Clover, and Victor are making the most of it. Between getting revenge on the guys, getting pranked by the guys, and trying to score tickets to their favorite band's show it's gonna be a fun ride if nothing else.

The Good: I'm not sure how but this story made me feel really nostalgic for the 90s (and considering I was nine when the 90s ended I'm really not sure how that works). I suppose what it really reminds me of are the Nickelodeon cartoons from the early 2000s (like The Wild Thornberrys, Hey Arnold etc) where the kids weren't quite old enough to be obsessed with romance all the time and their adventures were really just their daily lives and the weird scrapes they get into (and much more romanticized than most kid's lives). This days I do like a bit more plot in my stories but this was a really nice change of pace and the characters are fairly likeable kids I would have loved to have as friends when I was in middle school.

The Bad: It's a pretty short book (especially when you take out all the short stories at the end) and I wish their had been a bit more continuity between the chapters (another way it's like the above mentioned cartoons). Had a bit of a hard time figuring out the age of the characters/where the heck this story is set (apparently it's high school and California, could've sworn it was Ireland for some strange reason) and I felt like the book ended just as soon as it got into a rhythm. There are three more volumes in this series but I still wish this particular one was a bit longer.

The Art: The art was alright for most of the book. However, there was one section at the end of the book (I think it was a collection of one shots related to the story) where the art looked more rough and was horribly cramped and squeezed on the page, to the point where I didn't read it since it wasn't worth straining my eyes over (and i think the dimensions of the book were a little bigger than a regular sized manga too). Don't think I missed anything important there but let this be a warning to all comic artists, don't put too much on one page!

Like I said, if I had a chance to read more of this series I would (likewise, if they released the whole series as one big volume I would consider buying it) but at the moment I don't feel a burning desire to track it down. Good thing too, with all the stuff I do have a burning desire to go out and buy I've got quite a long list by this point, thank god for streaming and libraries!