Jane’s World Volume 6
It’s a bit intimidating coming into a soap opera webcomic series at this late date, especially when the first pages show an interlocking web of over 40 characters. I’ve found, in such cases, that it’s best for me to ignore those introductions and the “story so far” page (although I’d like to read the part where Jane apparently went to a furries convention) and jump right into the comic, picking up what I can.
Turns out in this case that’s the right strategy, since the situation in Jane’s World volume 6 is familiar and understandable. Jane’s mom is meeting her new girlfriend, only mom doesn’t know it, because Jane’s been keeping secrets. Not only is Mom not up-to-date on Jane’s love life, Mom doesn’t know Jane’s a lesbian, so Jane and housemate Ethan pretend to be a couple. Misunderstandings and cover-ups ensue… on both sides.
I really like the open, comfortable style of Paige Braddock’s art. It would easily fit into an old-fashioned comic strip page (before they started getting so squashed), like a lesbian For Better or For Worse. Sometimes her character designs remind me of Jules Feiffer’s, all long limbs and loose lines.
In amongst Jane’s situation, there are bits and pieces of various other characters’ dramas. Some were more entertaining (and understandable) than others, but this technique certainly demonstrates how diverse the cast and their adventures are. Chelle’s story, in particular, is like an action drama involving vengeful rednecks from her police days, and much of it is drawn in a different, more detailed style to match.
Later, Jane gets friendlier with an old friend. I love relationships like that, because I think they’re a good idea, when both people already know about each other. Unfortunately, it’s complicated by her already having a girlfriend. Cue the soap opera! And the cliffhanger, with both women showing up to make her dinner.
The cast sounds realistic, too, as though I could know these people. I can see why this series is still going strong. It makes me giggle, it makes me gasp, it makes me shake my head sorrowfully in sympathy… it’s a really good sitcom, only longer. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)