The Comics Journal Reviews “Make 5 Wishes”!

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Comics Journal online, published by Fantagraphics, is, to my mind, the single most respectable publication in our industry. Many of my colleagues would go so far as to call it pretentious, but since I, myself, am a pretentious prick, I find the magazine delightful, and, on occasion, actually relevant. So it is with great joy that I report that I have cracked it. It’s a little odd that it took the Avril Lavigne project to do so, but nonetheless. Comics Journal, wearing the face of critic Dirk Deppey, has stood up and taken notice and believe it or not, it/he has given us a positive review.

It opens with the line…

“I’m probably not the first critic to note that the most amazing thing about this book is the fact that it doesn’t suck, and I most certainly won’t be the last.”

Jolly good! Or at least, good enough for me!

The review ends up being the smartest, most well written, critical examination of the work to date. The reviewer knows that we weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel and takes that into account. He’s also the first and only one to mention this element of the story…

“Anyone who’s ever read W.W. Jacobs’ short story “The Monkey’s Paw” can tell you what will happen next, and by the time the first volume closes out, we already know that the demon is going to give Hana several harsh lessons in unintended consequences – but it’s going to do more than that. As the story progresses, it also begins destroying Hana’s fantasy world.

Yes! Finally someone has mentioned that the dismantling of Hana’s inability to access the world around her is a major part of the demon’s motivations and purpose. Everyone catches that it’s a riff on THE MONKEY’S PAW, that’s obvious, nobody else has mentioned that what is happening here is the deconstruction of Hana’s childhood. I can’t tell you how appreciative I was to find a deeper reading of our silly little piece of pap. God knows I need the validation.

Other wonderful bits from the classiest comics rag around include…

“Dysart and d’Errico’s story works because they have a fairly keen understanding both of the adult world’s various complications and the inability of most teenagers to comprehend them.”

And…

Camilla d’Errico’s art, a style somewhere between manga standard and Sam Kieth‘s bittersweet cartoon linework creates a world that looks eerily like Margaret Keane characters trapped in an Ingmar Bergman film.”

Hot damn! Camilla’s work got compared to a Bergman film! I know that doesn’t mean fuck all to Camilla, I’d bet serious cash she’s never seen a Bergman film, but I happen to have more than half of Bergman’s work on DVD and the fact that my name and Bergman’s just got mentioned in the same review, and I didn’t even write that review… well, that is dope indeed my friends. Dope indeed.

The whole thing ends with a sentiment that’s really all one could possibly ask for in a review of a commercial (read “sell-out”) product like this…

“As an accomplished and well-constructed story, Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes may wind up being the most attractive silk purse woven from a sow’s ear in 2007.”

Words of praise indeed. Words of praise indeed.

Here’s the Link!

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Journal

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