Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note – since this month is so relatively short, I’ll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!
Today we take a look at Victor Dandridge’s graphic novel, The Trouble With Love, drawn by Harold Edge and Ryan Carter.
This graphic novel is absolutely fascinating, in the sense that so rarely do you get a well-rounded look at infidelity in fiction PERIOD, but in a SUPERHERO comic? Victor Dandridge has a very ambitious story in mind here and I think he pulls it off nicely.
The concept of the comic is that a young man confronts his father over his father leaving the boy’s mother and re-marrying. Normal enough conflict in the world, only in this instance, the father also happens to be essentially Superman. And the boy has some futuristic ray gun trained on his father.
First off, what an awesome flashback sequence by Edge and Carter, right? They totally got across that it was a flashback without explicitly stating “this is a flashback,” all through some quality storytelling and some good use of colors.
Dandridge’s story is an emotional tale, as the Superman-esque hero struggles with his attraction for “the other woman,” but eventually gives into his feelings. And here is where Dandridge uses the superhero trope in a really clever way. Superheroes are already used to living double lives, right? So wouldn’t it be so much easier for a superhero to add a THIRD life in there? On the other side of the coin, the paparazzi can’t really get at a superhero when he is just by himself with his family in the suburbs, but when he is sneaking around with a woman in the city, there’s a better chance of being caught – and if they DO get caught, how can anyone know that the “other woman” isn’t the ONLY woman?
It’s a complicated tale with a powerful ending filled with strong artwork from Edge and Carter. It’s a story well-worth picking up.
You can buy it a lot of different places. Here it is at Amazon.
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