A few months back I did my first independent comic review with Cadaverific, a locally written and drawn web series from another local Nanowrimo participant. Now it’s time for my second independent comic, and this one is by request from its writer, Sam Johnson.
Geek Girl is about Ruby Kaye, a popular young adult who stumbles upon a very special pair of glasses that are “a bit 2007”. They were invented by a local science wiz to give the wearer superpowers, in his desperate attempt to woo his crush. It turns out that risking the glasses in a drunken strip poker match isn’t the smartest way to use his invention.
Ruby’s origin story is fairly original, using an object that gives its wielder power instead of a radioactive accident. It also brings plenty of potential for other similar articles of clothing to show up should this series grow enough, and plenty of opportunity for them to fall into the wrong hands if misplaced. The dialogue flows naturally and the writing has a great sense of humour. Hidden behind the humour is a bit of commentary on how self-obsessed our young culture has become as of late.
There are strong hints that her new status as a superhero could change her life in both positive and negative ways, as she has already annoyed several of her friends yet clearly enjoys beating up stalker exes. The characters are fun, but we don’t yet know much about them. Then again, it’s hard to write fully developed characters in 12 pages. There is room for improvement in that regard, but I’d rather read undeveloped characters that are still fun than fully realized characters that are unlikeable. The art is decent enough, and while it’s in black and white, every named character is easily recognizable. There usually isn’t a lot of background detail, but there’s enough that you’ll always know where the characters are.
This is a solid introduction to a likeable lead character, with plenty of room for a great story in the future. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun. He’s working on a Geek Girl miniseries, and that’s supposed to be in full colour. While I don’t read too many of them, one thing that intrigues me about independent comics is the complete freedom that the writers have. That can be both a good or a bad thing, and in this case its mostly good.
If you want to check it out, visit Johnson’s website here. There’s a preview of Geek Girl 0, and an unlettered preview of the mini-series as well. There’s also a preview to Mr. Mashup 0 (according to the blog, Mr. Mashup is to be a villain in the GG series). You can also read his Almighties Origins for free here. I haven’t read Almighties yet.