- Posted by Johanna on February 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Trina Robbins; art by Xian Nu Studio with Yuko Ota
- PUBLISHER: Graphic Universe; $9.95 US
This volume, the eighth in the My Boyfriend Is a Monster series, is a bit different from the others.
Oh, like the other books, it’s still completely predictable in the development of its romance, from the “he’s different, which makes him attractive” introduction to the eventual end of the relationship (because really, human girls and supernatural beings? not meant to last). Plus, there’s a really over-the-top threat, so the pair have something to fight, that isn’t developed with any subtlety.
For one thing, though, the “monster” here isn’t what we traditionally think of with that word. Gabriel is an angel. There’s some explanation in the middle that these aren’t Christian angels, that they predate our religions, except he’s fighting a bitch girl named “Luci” after her “uncle”. It reads as a weak attempt to avoid annoying believers, but everything else in the book is clearly about the Christian mythology.
Another difference is the hobby of our heroine Morning Glory — she’s a cartoonist. She’s making her own comic and taking it to the local DOG (“Do Your Own Graphic Novel”) conference to show to the manga artist she idolizes. These bits were my favorite, because there’s a charming scene where Gabriel encourages her to have more faith in her work and struggle through a crowded copy shop to make her minicomics. Plus, the scenes at the convention were very true to life — except for the sequence with the manga-ka, where the melodrama comes into play. (Also nice to see? Glory’s dark skin, which is never made an issue of.)
There’s also a completely believable sequence where the mean kids are playing keep away with her art pages. That was the only scene in the book where I was emotionally involved with the characters. That’s the problem with the story — individual elements can be entertaining, but the overall structure is much too familiar, from the bitchy rich girls making fun of Glory’s thrift-shop wardrobe to the out-of-touch hippie parents that exist solely as joke fodder.
The art has a nice focus on Glory’s emotions and her friends and enemies. It will be familiar to manga readers with the frequent headshots, broken up by larger panels that establish settings. I was curious to read this book in part because I enjoy Yuko Ota’s art on Johnny Wander, but it seems that most of it was done by a studio. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)