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Right Through Sunday, I’m Bidin’ My Time: Graeme catches up on some books.

Graeme McMillan

With vacation less than a week away – I know, you’re all as excited at the prospect of two weeks without me as I am at the prospect of two weeks in Europe – I’m clearing out the piles of things that’ve been waiting for me to review them for long times. Let’s start by being girlcrazy today, huh?

CLUBBING: I keep seeing this referred to as the worst of the Minx books so far, and I think I’m on Earth-2. Don’t get me wrong; Josh Howard’s art is spectacularly unsuitable and almost sinks the book on its own, but I really, really enjoyed Andi Watson’s writing here. Not only does the bitchy narrator keep the whole thing moving (and avoids learning a life-lesson that makes her all sweetness and light by the end of the book), but the plot itself is a fun mix of over-the-top English stereotypes and League of Gentlemen-esque plot developments. With a different, less-flat, artist, more people would be calling this a solidly Good book, I think.

CONFESSIONS OF A BLABBERMOUTH: Yeah, I really am just working my way through the Minx books. Coming on the heels of Re-Gifters, Mike Carey’s second book for the line – this one co-written by his daughter – was pretty much a disappointment for me. The main character seemed too close to the main character from Re-Gifters, and for whatever reason, the plot felt forced and uncomfortable all the way through. It’s still Okay, and a lot of that is due to the background chatter and details in the crowd scenes. Huzzah for the first book I can think about based around a blogger, though. At last, a character I can relate to. Insert the emoticon of your choice here.

EVA: DAUGHTER OF THE DRAGON: Not a Minx book, but a one-shot with a female lead character nonetheless! Sadly, despite that title, this isn’t in any way, shape or form a kung-fu epic. It’s also, to be brutally honest, not something that lives up to Jo Chen’s lovely painted cover (Interior artist Edgar Salazar is firmly in the generic Top Cow-esque school of midrange Dynamite artists, and his version of the character lacks the personality of Chen’s). Brandon Jerwa’s script isn’t a story per se, but a large chunk of expositionary origin story followed by what feels pretty much like a pilot for an ongoing series, connected by a metatextual framing sequence where writers are looking for a concept for a new monster show for their TV network; it’s nothing revolutionary, but there’s something Okay about the whole Dracula’s-daughter-versus-all-the-classic-movie-monsters set-up nonetheless. Give me a better artist and more humor in the writing and I’d check out a potential ongoing.

GOOD AS LILY: Talking about disconnects between beautiful covers and completely different interiors, Derek Kirk Kim’s cover for this book is completely unlike Jesse Hamm’s scratchier-but-not-unattractive work inside, and the comparison it sets up seems somewhat unfair; I spent the entire book wondering how Kim’s more cartoony, attractive characters would’ve looked in the same scenes. Storywise, there’s a good concept here that feels like it’s waiting to become a big Hollywood movie a la “Big” or “13 Going On 30,” but the resolution seemed both too pat and confusing – Exactly why did all the Graces come together at the same time anyway, and what was the event that made each of them go home? That they were happy? That they’d imparted a particular lesson to the main Grace? Don’t get me wrong; this is a Good book, but I wanted more, somehow.

Am I the only one following – and enjoying – the Minx line? What do the rest of you think of these books?

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