Cheat

This story of a woman who cheats on her husband has beautiful linework and realistic characters, but it doesn’t fulfill its promise. Although Ms. Norrie does a wonderful job of showing us the circumstances that may lead to infidelity, the book was promoted with questions like “how will the betrayed spouses react?” (Quote taken from the back cover.) Unfortunately, the discovery and its effects are given short shrift here.

The lead-up to temptation is well-trodden ground in fiction; the aftermath, not so much. I was looking forward to Ms. Norrie’s insight on what happens after her characters’ life-changing choices, but when it comes to that section of the story, events happen quickly and less believably than in the rest of book.

For instance, earlier in the book, much is made of the lead couple’s working style and joint career. By the end, we have no idea how that will be affected, although we know it must change. It’s as though she ran out of room and had to tie things up in too short a space. It reads as shallow when compared to the excellent work seen previously.

Let me reiterate, though, that this book is lovely to look at. Ms. Norrie’s style is well-suited to such a character-driven piece, and the way she captures expression and movement is inspirational. I just wish she’d had more space to work out the significant events promised by the first half of the story.

The artist has a website.


11 Responses to “Cheat”

  1. Michael Denton Says:

    I agree completely with your review. The book is beautiful, but the story stops suddenly and abruptly. There’s a good story to tell here, but for some unknown reason, it isn’t really told at all. I was very disappointed with the book for its unfulfilled potential.

  2. ~chris Says:

    My interpretation of the abrupt ending was that it was intended to put the audience in the same frame of mind as the character. She had no idea what would happen next, and we experienced a little of that helpless feeling.

    I’ve learned long ago to discount comics’ promotional copy, but that does not excuse the writers of same from untruths. I don’t remember the promotion of this particular book; the name Christine Norrie was all I needed to hear. :-)

  3. Dan Says:

    I’ve always thought that Christine Norrie’s art style would not be out of place in a French fashion magazine. She’s one of those artists that you just know could be making a lot better money doing some form of high class commercial art, and we’re lucky to have her. That said, though, this story just left me wondering if there was maybe a part two that I’d missed.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Norrie will be illustrating one of the Graphix graphic novels next year, which I’m really looking forward to.

    And Chris, good point about the promo copy not being the story. You just have to be careful about raising the wrong expectations in the reader, because a good story can seem disappointing and vice versa based on positioning.

  5. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] The majority of the book, by Christine Norrie (Cheat), is similar in attitude but a bit more open and straightforward. Norrie isn’t afraid of black, which gives her pages strong anchor points. The characters even resemble each other, as suits family members. The two styles make for a well-integrated book where the flashback sections are still distinct to readers. [...]

  6. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] Breaking Up. Christine Norrie [Hopeless Savages, Cheat] teams up with New York Times bestselling author Aimee Friedman for this new graphic novel about what happens when romance and friendship collide. Coming Spring 2007. [...]

  7. Breaking Up » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] has also reviewed this title. Christine Norrie previously drew Hopeless Savages and wrote and drew Cheat. [...]

  8. Kerry Says:

    have you ever run across a female cartoonist, Wendy Eastwood?
    A sample of her work is in book, Dyke Strippers copywrited 1995, edited by Roz Warren. I haven’t been able to find any of her work since.
    She is British.

  9. Task 23:Read 5 comic books I haven’t read before « Taurean4’s Weblog Says:

    [...] Since it’s seems that one has been put on hiatus, I’ve decided to read something else. I don’t even remember buying this comic book, but there it was, when I found Ghost World earlier today. Cheat by Christine Norrie [...]

  10. wendy Says:

    Kerry, I am the cartoonist you enquired about. I haven’t worked on anything for many years now. I stopped when I moved to Serbia for a few years. I live and work in London now. Thank you for your interest though.

  11. Alan Says:

    Kerry, I am the brother of Wendy and I am very proud of her. – Hi Wendy! Here is something only Wendy will understand – Stinky Pan says “Hi” to Stinky Eastwood :-)




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