Scott Pilgrim By Brian Lee O’Malley
It’s been a few years since I have read Scott Pilgrim. It is one of my all time favourite series since reading the first volume way back in 2004. It was so overwhelming years later when the series was turned in to a film. I lined up early to ensure I got the best place in the theatre and I won’t even tell you how many times I saw it.
After moving to my new apartment this week, everything felt so new that I wanted to go back and read something comforting. So I begun to re-read the Scott Pilgrim series for the 1000th time.
Scott Pilgrim is living a charmed life. He’s 23years old, lives on his friend’s futon, dates a teenager, is "between jobs" and is always making other people pay for his food. Things with his girlfriend are nice and simple. They go for walks, almost held hands once and talk about all the things Scott likes. Life was perfect for slacker Scott until the girl of his dreams, Ramona came rollerblading into his life. Ramona is a complex lady with a big relationship history, weird outlook on life and constantly changing hair colour. But Scott is willing to put more effort into this relationship than he has for anything else in life to be able to date the girl of his dreams. All he needs to do is battle her evil ex boyfriends.... all 7 of them and then life will be dandy.
The reason I keep going back to this comic is that it is fun. Every time I read it I have a huge smile across my face. The characters feel so real to me, so relatable. And I love the over the top cartoonish fight scenes and situations that these characters end up in. O’Malley also has a very distinct style that I really enjoy. Thick black outlines and panel structures that change with every page. It's energentic, exciting and romantic all rolled into one.
Moose By Max De Radigues
I never noticed the book Moose before a customer ordered it in for themselves. After seeing the simple nature of Max De Radigues art style I decided to order one in for myself.
Moose is an unexpectedly dark book that focuses on bullying and the effects it can have on a child. Joe is a shy kid, keeping to himself as he is relentlessly bullied by a boy called Jason. Joe does anything he can to avoid bulling from not catching the school bus to hiding in the janitors closet- his safe place at school. Joe's only comfort is visiting the wild animals that inhabit the forrest near his home his favourite being a very large moose.
The scenes of bullying in this book are often shocking and quite often all too realistic. Everything from being punched in the stomach, to stabbing with a compass and even sexual harassment. You instantly feel for Joe and wonder why the adults in this situation feel they can’t step in. They can very clearly see what is happening, but choose not to interfere. What follows is a morally ambiguous ending that made me feel very uneasy.
I did not expect Moose to be dark from the art style and cover. A young boy running up a snowy hill greets me at the cover, with the interior art simple black outlines, quite cartoonish and welcoming. The beginning of the book feels like it's perfect for high schoolers, but quickly descends into very adult territory. That’s not to say that I did not enjoy the book, as I very much did. I’ve never read a book like it. But I was expecting a light hearted book about a boy who lives in a place where it snows, and what I got was a very dark and thought provoking book about how much kids can suck.
The truth about Stacey- Baby Sitters Club
By Ann M.Martin and Raina Telgemeier
If you have been following this blog for any length of time it would be no surprise to you that a Baby Sitters Club book would be in this list. I am a huge fan owning 100's of the original books from the 1990s. My plan is to read them all in order when I retire. When I heard that one of my favourite comic book creators Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Sisters, Drama) would be teaming up with Baby Sitters Club creator Ann M. Martin to create graphic novels of the original books I flipped out. This week I read the second instalment The Truth About Stacey.
Stacey recently moved from the big apple to a small town called Stoneybrook. While she left a lot of things behind, her diabetes is not one of them. But thankfully her new friends Kristy, Claudia and Mary Anne are all very supportive and the four of them have created the towns first ever Baby Sitters Club. Stacey has a lot to deal with including over protective parents, weird doctors and now a rival baby sitting agency. Luckily Stacey has the 3 best friends in the world to problem solve and have fun with.
I read The truth about Stacey in one sitting loving every single part. Raina's ability to take such an iconic book and make it her own is no simple feat. The members of the BSC are so important to so many of us, influencing the adults that we became. This book perfectly captured each of the characters personality while giving it a fresh new feel. Raina's character designs are so adorable, each character clearly recognizable by their appearance- Kristy with her baseball caps and Claudia's rad fashion sense. Such a wonderful feeling of excitement and nostalgia all rolled into one. I can not wait to read the next volume that's waiting for me at work already.
I'd love to know what you have been reading. Anything you would recommend?