Today’s books reviewed cover memoir comics; Mawil’s teen heart-aches chronicled in ‘We can still be friends’, while kid friendly art comic The Girl and The Gorilla looks at inspiration, and finally I have mixed feeling about retrogaming science fiction phenomena ‘Ready Player One’.
We Can Still Be Friends, written and illustrated by Mawil. This is one of those memoir style graphic novels that I love because the are so personal, like reading someone’s illustrated diary.
We Can Still Be Friends is a series of vignettes detailing the first great ‘loves’ of the author’s life. Better described as ‘crushes’- he ever gets very far, as the title suggests. This is a humorous take on teenaged awkwardness, and Mawil’s almost goofy style carries you along , smiling through his embarrassment . There are lots of nice touches too, song lyrics playing in the background help take you right there to a time and a place, and if you were ever a traveller as a teenager this one’s for you! It’s a sweet and funny coming of age tale, but Mawil’s hilarious mini-book Sparky O’Hare remains my favourite 😉
14 – Ready Player One by is a sci-fi/fantasy novel by Ernest Cline. Essentially a geek nostalgia fest that technically belongs to the cyber-punk genre due to the virtual world element. To be honest, I’m just not sure how I feel about this one. I got totally sucked in because of all the 80’s music and movie references, but ultimately this is a novel best enjoyed by gamers with a taste for vintage arcades and old D&D paper and dice role-playing. Maybe I’m just not the uber-nerd I think I am, or maybe the writing is nothing special? The story follows a fairly typical game quest arc, and the fun really is in trying to spot all the references to 80’s & geek culture. Hotly tipped for a movie adaptation, I can’t imagine how it’s possible. With almost the entire world created out of pre-existing works of fiction/entertainment/art etc. this is either an IP lawyer’s nightmare or wet dream.