Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Plain Janes (2007)

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The Plain JanesEverything that I complained about the last Minx book I read is remedied in this beautiful book.

First of all, every cliché in this book is shattered almost before it hits your eyes. Even the evil popular girl is a fully realized human character. And her humanity reflects well upon her father who is the book's closest thing to cardboard.

Then the story, although at times it almost tastes like a typical teen empowerment tale, never succumbs to the temptations of lameness. From the first page, we are somewhere new and real and striking.

Page one: a bomb goes off.
Page fifteen: a girl rejects popularity for the weird crowd.
Page twenty-three: boy in coma.
Page seventeen: math.

And meanwhile, the art is dropping hints so subtly you don't realize you've caught them until they matter.

The Plain Janes, MainJaneSo kudos to Jim Rugg whose art this is (and forgive me, but the protagonist's face is the loveliest bit of ink I've seen in some time), and kudos to Cecil Castellucci whose words are the genesis of this terrific terrific book. This gives me great hope for the Minx imprint. Also: want to read the sequel.

(DC: contact me here)

11 comments:

Mr. Fob said...

This gives me great hope for the Minx imprint.

Sorry.

Th. said...

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Crap. That sucks.

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I feel obliged to point out (even if it is now everlastingly too late) that Cecil is a girl. Since I knocked the last title for being all boymade, I should have hit on her sex a little more clearly.

(So to speak.)

Mr. Fob said...

By the way, you're totally transparent here. We all know you reviewed these Minx titles only because I reviewed Wonder Woman and you wanted to hop on the feminist bandwagon. And we also know you're a man, which you neglected to point out.

Th. said...

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I figured my manliness was self-evident. A moniker like 'Th.' leaves no room for ambiguity.

Anonymous said...

http://www.fobcave.com/2008/11/gender-confusion.html remember remember

Mr. Fob said...

True, that does explain everything.

Spencer said...

I need to review a prominent Marvel heroine now. One like....

Uh...

Spencer said...

Wait! I've got it! An inspiring symbol for women everywhere! Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman!

Th. said...

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Because women should be invisible . . . ?

Mr. Fob said...

Misogynist.

Th. said...

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Exactly my point.