Friday, March 03, 2006

Graphic Lit -- 2/26

These ran in last Sunday's edition of the Patriot-News:

"Off*beat Vol. 1"
by Jen Lee Quick
Tokyopop, 162 pages, $9.99.

Teenager Tory Blake, who’s too smart for his own good, becomes obsessed with his mysterious and somewhat reclusive neighbor across the street in the first volume of this manga-influenced trade paperback.

A book like this could go wrong any number of ways, not the least of which in the rather homoerotic overtones as the main character’s interest veers dangerously into stalking territory.

Yet rather than come off as immature or awkward, "Off*beat" is surprisingly well done. I especially appreciated Quick’s effort to give minor supporting characters, such as Blake’s mother, some substance. It doesn’t break out of its narrow genre niche, but it’s more entertaining than it has any right to be.

"Tree of Love"
by Patrick Atangan
NBM, 48 pages, $12.95

"Tree" is the third volume in Atangan’s ongoing collection of folk tales from the far East. This one deals with an Indian prince who falls in love with a beautiful flower girl and his dogged pursuit of her after she accidently loses her memory. The lovers do end up back together again, but not without some collateral damage. Atangan uses Indian art motifs to strong effect here, though the story feels a little slight considering the price and handsome packaging.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2006


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