Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Suburban Glamour

Jamie McKelvie is an artist of extraordinary talent. After penciling the six issue miniseries Phonogram, he wrote and drew the four issue mini-series Suburban Glamour, which I have read and I will talk about briefly.

It's about Astrid, this emo teenager in this tiny English town who feels out of place in society and in her family. Nobody understands her. After going to a party with her best friend Dave, Astrid meets a cute boy and talks to him. Once she's home, she's awakened by her imaginary friends who, it turns out, are real, and are warning her against something big and scary. The next day, Astrid and Dave stumble into a cool new emo store run by this hawt chick called Aubrey, who's awesome. On the way home, Astrid and Dave run into some monsters and are chased, and that's the first issue.

It turns out that Astrid is a faerie child, an heir to Oberon's throne, or something like that. The explanation is a little info-dump-y and not very interesting. The plot really isn't that interesting, honestly.

The whole thing is this longwinded metaphor about being a teenager and feeling out of place. Astrid feels out of sorts with humans because she's a faerie or something, and her human guise is a glamour, just like her emo persona is a glamour et cetera et cetera et cetera. It's a fairly painful and drawn out metaphor.

What is worth talking about is McKelvie's astonishing artwork. Every figure is realistic and dynamic and fluid. Every person is interesting and unique and has their own distinguishing features. Astrid is beautiful and fun to look at, and McKelvie even gives her little touches such as make-up or studded belts.

The absolute best part of this entire endeavour is McKelvie's artwork. It's definitely something to be extremely proud of. Here's an example of the artwork. This is when Astrid is making her big decision.It's beautiful.

And I kind of joke about the not very good plot, but honestly, McKelvie is able to write fairly realistic teenagers. They sound real, especially Astrid, and there isn't this lame sense of "let's make cool references to make them sound like teens". When Dave mentions MCR, I know who it's a reference to.

If only for the art and the dialogue, this mini-series is definitely worth reading. Recommended.

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