Chandler, Richy; Dare, Francesca; Inko; Kutsuwada, Chie; Liew, Zarina; Sarson, Jade – Rosie and Jacinda: Demon Cloud
Rosie and Jacinda: Demon Cloud
Can I be cranky curmudgeon reviewer guy for a minute? Why am I asking, I can’t hear anything that you’re saying. I just wanted to establish the fact that I have a complaint that isn’t entirely fair or relevant, but it bugs me nonetheless: if you’re going to have a continuing series, please either number all of them or give them all a distinct title. Preferably the numbering, as it feels like I missed an issue before this one, but either way works. Granted, at least part of this is because of the labeling system that I use here, which is not a problem that many other humans have. Now that I have that ridiculous digression out of the way, how about that comic? This time around Rosie decides to tell Jacinda her true nature, the true identity of a teacher at school is revealed, and there’s a nice swerve involving _____ at the end that I did not see coming. Oh, and there’s a demon on the loose, and he’s hunting for someone. All this and the usual high school drama, where the leader of the cool girls clique finds somebody “worthy” to be with her, and where Rosie’s story is overheard, which leads to all sorts of issues for her at school. This time around the art chores have been divided among a few new people, and it’s a testament of the skills of the whole bunch of them that nothing jarred me out of the story. Richy is building a world bit by bit and I’m intrigued to see where he goes from here. He certainly set it up so that it can go in a number of ways, and this issue went a long way to fleshing out the characters of just about everybody. Well, except for maybe the potential love interest of Jacinda, who got short shrift this time around, but he wasn’t a relevant part of the story for this issue. The next issue might be an entirely different story. It’s a really solid issue and well worth checking out, unless you hate all stories involving high schools. Even if that’s the case there’s something to love in here for damned near everyone. Once again I’m going to guess on the price and, inflation being what it is, this time I’m guessing $8 (it is quite a large comic).
Rosie & Jacinda
There are times when I feel exceptionally lazy with the whole reviewing thing, and in those times I like to see if the blurb from the creators explaining their comic is accurate. In this case it’s “a teenage romantic comedy with a hint of fairytale,” and yeah, that sums is up pretty well. Still, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that people don’t come here to read blurbs that they could get from any website, so I’ll go on about it a bit. This is the story of Jacinda (a sullen teen who hates everyone, mostly because she’s convinced that she’s smarter than everybody else) and Rosie. Rosie takes a bit more explanation, because we’re led to believe that she may or may not be entirely human. The story of Sleeping Beauty is featured heavily in this book, and Rosie also gets knocked out for a bit after being pricked by a pin. She woke up naturally, leaving the whole thing still delightfully vague. I’m getting ahead of myself a bit, as Rosie is a French exchange student who asks to sit with Jacinda. She then rejects an invitation to sit with the cool kids, endearing herself to Jacinda a bit, and confides to Jacinda that she’s never even kissed a boy (despite a chunk of the male population of the school trying), which cements their friendship. From there they both try out for a play (mostly because it’s a class requirement; Rosie gets a big part and Jacinda gets costume duty) and the rest of the issue deals with them becoming better friends and the various troubles involved with doing a play. It’s very much aimed towards the teenage crowd, and here’s hoping that there’s a female teenage crowd that loves comics, as there probably aren’t nearly enough explosions for most teenage boys. Richy has already proved to me that he’s a gifted writer and Zarina is perfect for this story. The art is whimsical with a slight touch of anime style, but not enough to turn you off if you hate that sort of thing. The coloring also goes a long way to really filling out the art and, again, it’s excellently done. No price listed, but I’m guessing it’s roughly $6. I did mention that I was guessing, right?
Publish You (edited by Gareth Brookes, Jimi Gherkin, Peter Lally & Saban Kazim) Website
If anybody out there is curious about the current state of small press comics in the UK (and shame on you if you’re not), this is as good a place to start as any.Â Gareth is one of many people involved in putting this thing together, but it goes up on his page because… well, I don’t have a particularly good reason.Â Mostly it’s just to draw attention to his comics one more time, as they are one of the genuinely good things in this world.Â So how about this anthology?Â It’s in color (except for the pieces that stuck with black and white), the pages are numbered and there’s a solid table of contents, so there goes any chance I had of bitching about the production values.Â This book is right around 80 pages but it feels longer than that.Â I believe that’s a compliment.Â Stories in here include the tale of angry freakish neighbors by Steve Tilotson, some of the lies we’ve always been told by Gareth, Edd Baldry finding out that walking to work in the snow is no better than riding a bike, Mickey Lam cramming the story of Falun Gong in China today into two pages, Zarina Liew with an adorable piece about mime speed dating, cheerful suicide by Enrico Ariis, Scott Jason Smith deals with old poisoned candy, Saban Kazim lays out the relentless side of peer pressure, Sina Shamsavari gets into the awkwardness of running into an ex long after the breakup (and what to do if they “don’t recognize you”), and Richard Cowdry proves that bringing up comics in conversation with the opposite sex doesn’t always result in them running off in the opposite direction.Â As always, I’m skipping plenty of stuff in this book that should probably be mentioned, but that’s where you come in.Â If you’re as curious as you should be you’ll check out that website, and if you’re even more curious you’ll just go ahead and buy the damned thing.Â This, of course, will mean that I’ve done my job, such as it is.Â The price is in that funny foreign currency that’s actually worth more than “real” money these days (as American dollars are powered by our imagination at this point) so let’s say… $13?