Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

Graphic Novel Review – Troublemaker

I doubt I’m the target audience for this particular graphic novel. I’ve never read any of the book series from which this particular book emerged, nor have I read any books by the author in question. I simply happened upon a comic shop in Dallas that had over-ordered on the book and was liquidating them at 40% off cover price. For a little over ten bucks I’ll give anything a shot, especially if it’s something new that I’m viewing with completely unbiased eyes.

I’ll say that it was a fun read, if a little brisk. It seems like maybe they should have waited a little while longer and combined this edition with the second book slated for November into one larger volume. I feel like if I had paid the full cover prive for it I might have felt like I wasn’t getting my money’s worth. I mean, Scott Pilgrim was twelve bucks and about four times as long. But then again that wasn’t a full-color hardcover either, and having published a book I know how high printing costs are nowadays.

The book itself is pretty well done. The art by Joelle Jones has the perfect tone for the light-hearted and quirky mystery. It’s bright and sunny and features some excellent facial expressions that really help provide the book with a distinct style. The storytelling is tightly paced, and maybe a little too brisk. It feels like while being new-reader friendly, it’s definitely intended for people who are familiar with the characters as there’s not a whole lot of detail given to the backstory or establishment of the characters as they’re presented. But carefully placed blurbs and throwaway lines help connect the dots and fill in the blanks.

I’m glad I gave the book a read, because while its light fluff at best, it’s very fun light fluff which is actually a good thing in this era of overly dour comics that don’t dare just tell a fun story and leave the reader feeling entertained. I was entertained and I didn’t feel like an asshat for reading it. When you get right down to it, if you can say that about any book that’s a hash mark in the win column.

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