Aaron Alexovich both writes and draws Kimmie66 (the first Minx book that has allowed a writer-artist to do both), a near-future tale of a world lived in virtual reality. Telly, the goth teen girl lead, has received a suicide note from her best friend, a person she never knew in real life, which leads her to ponder the nature of existence and how you really know a person. Her conclusion:
It’s such a pain in the butt when you don’t know your friends’ real names. I mean, people who live outside the lairs just don’t have problems like this, do they?
(Ok, that’s early on — there’s more to come.) I could relate. I don’t game or get involved in MUDs or networking sites (both of which are similar to the “lairs” described here), but anyone who spends a lot of time online has had the problem of how to talk about it to offliners.
Alexovich’s distinctive look works better for me here than in Confessions of a Blabbermouth, since most of the settings are artificial. His exaggerations fit better in such an environment, although some events are a tad unclear. I love Telly’s hair (the girl on the cover, our hero) with the way it looked as though a spiky octopus has taken up residence on her head, flopping every which way.
Telly’s friend Kimmie isn’t quite gone yet, though, reappearing as a ghost when Telly connects, which leads Telly to investigate further. It’s only after a significant event forces things that you realize how much you might not know or how much you’ve assumed about the people you call friends. In a world where you relate based on which fantasies you prefer (and thus decide how to tag yourself), you have to accept how people present themselves, or be constantly rude.
This is the most imaginative Minx title, and one that has at its core something beyond “learning more about the person the teen girl is or will be”. It allows Telly to focus on someone other than herself, so from an intellectual perspective, it attracted me more than the other books. I still like Re-Gifters best, though, because I like that girl the most of all the leads. David Welsh also faintly praises the book.