Girls Volume 1: Conception by Jonathan Luna and Joshua Luna
|Girls Volume 1: Conception by Jonathan Luna and Joshua Luna|
|Category: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A great look at a weird and wonderful sci-fi scenario, with humour, great characters, a brilliant look, and a marvellous drip-drip of intensity.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 152||Date: December 2005|
|Publisher: Image Comics|
Ethan, we see with a great, broad comic stroke or six, is not the best when it comes to girls. Letting his mouth run away with him too often, he is not very successful at relationships. But let us look at what happens when he drives away from an altercation at the local bar, and sees a gorgeous - and very naked - young woman standing in the middle of the road.
Back at his, she breaks the dawn in by making unusual noises in the bathroom, and from then on anything is possible. The small-town life we've seen so excellently conveyed is interrupted by something alien, something cosmic and something very, very odd. Everyone is involved in whatever it is, from the do-goodie local cop, to the country bumpkin farmer - and lines like c'mon... she's still a human being are archly, ironically, incorrect.
This is a marvellous comic book, the first of four, offering a great premise. It harks back to Twilight Zone-styled '60s sci-fi, with many a splash of The Stepford Wives and more. Here the reds-under-the-bed peril is replaced by a peril in the bed, and through this alien circumstance the book reveals many a thinly-veiled metaphor for sexual politics, the state of play between genders, and more.
All this is dressed in a fabulous way. The artwork is amazing, and something one couldn't have done nearly as well just a few years back. There is a lovely touch in throwing the background way out of focus, pulling focus to cinematically enhance conversations and more, and other computerised effects have been used to produce glowing, detailed, lavish pictures. There might be too much evening-time pastel tone changes to some spreads, but that's a churlish criticism.
The adventures continue for the villagers (or rather, those still surviving) in the second book, Emergence, where we benefit from an angry bear, a cameo from a local with too much to say and do regarding bodily functions, and more. Survival, part three, is no major loss of the eerie quality that marks this series out, but I think that by the end, in Extinction (whose, I shall leave to you to find out), there is a sense of the scenario being just too good and too strong for even our brilliant creators. It becomes wordier, more cyclical, and the balance of play between the survivors goes on twisting just a little too much before finding the common ground deemed necessary by the ending we get.
It might seem a large investment, four graphic novel collections to buy at once, but I defy anyone to read the first two episodes and not be completely hooked. The characterisations are perfect in their depth and simplicity, the style is remarkable, and the whole creepy scenario is one to behold. There's a lot more plot than I have felt able to convey in this review, simply because I relish the days when I didn't know what was before me, and relish the discovery so much, I can't get in the way of others discovering the same.
My star rating is combined over the whole series - I would easily give the first book 5 stars, but there is a regrettable tail-off to the end - a tailing off from an astounding height, making these four books well worth investigating.
For further eerie and compelling graphic novels, look no further than Angel Fire by Chris Blythe and Steven Parkhouse.
You can read more book reviews or buy Girls Volume 1: Conception by Jonathan Luna and Joshua Luna at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Girls Volume 1: Conception by Jonathan Luna and Joshua Luna at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.