Entanglement

This is like My First Graphic Novel, simple, direct, and basic. Riley’s a prep, Petra’s arty, they meet at a party and try to date in the face of culture clashes among friends and parents.

Entanglement cover

The presentation is incredibly straightforward, which would make this a good choice for the younger audience. (The older will have seen it all before.) Panels are nothing fancy, talking faces for the most part, and the dialogue is flatly written to be clear exactly what’s going on. I find the writer’s resistance to contractions a bit odd. I think the text would be greatly improved if he read it out loud to check for sounding natural before putting it on the page.

It’s almost as though a computer put this together, but I think it’s just that the creator hasn’t found his unique voice yet and needs to have more confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the story and characters, but there’s no feeling of heart whatsoever in this material. It feels very mechanical, going through the motions.

I’ve reviewed his previous comics, which I enjoyed more. More characters meant more to work with and more to interest the reader. Find out more at Hanvey’s website. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the author.)


2 Responses to “Entanglement”

  1. Tim O'Shea Says:

    “It’s almost as though a computer put this together, but I think it’s just that the creator hasn’t found his unique voice yet and needs to have more confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the story and characters, but there’s no feeling of heart whatsoever in this material. It feels very mechanical, going through the motions.”

    I’ve read this paragraph a couple of times, Johanna. My reviewer brain is long-retired (and was never as strong as yours, I’ll fully concede), but how can you like the story and characters, but preface that with “it’s like a computer put this together”.

    I wouldn’t quibble with you on this review, but at points I thought you were thoroughly panning the book, but then it seems like you were trying to toss the creator a bone with “I liked the story…”

    Not to review the reviewer, but I’m partially looking for clarification. In all seriousness, I understand that the book was not to your taste (partially due to stilted dialogue and lifeless pacing [sounds like could use an editor, honestly]), but I was curious if you still might recommend it to the “younger audience”.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I appreciate feedback — because if something’s not making sense, perhaps I could have expressed it better or elaborated more. And how am I going to improve without it?

    Anyway, to this particular question… haven’t you ever enjoyed something all the while you knew it was pure formula? There are a number of romantic comedies I feel that way about, for instance. They’re clearly built by demographic and nothing but an urge to make money (forget art or expressing something the creator feels strongly about), but in the right mood, they still hook me and reel me in.

    I did feel like I was being a bit too negative here, because I believe the intentions were good, if perhaps naive, and I did want to try and not be quite so harsh. I see that that part, at least, was conveyed clearly. :)

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