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12 Reasons Why I Love Her

By Christine Pointeau
April 30, 2007 - 18:32

I set out hunting for a graphic novel done by a woman and must have gone through every book on an entire wall at the store… I know we’re out there, us few women in the field, but goodness, where!?!!! Certainly not in most comic shops, or maybe just not where I’m looking.

In all fairness, I came up on a couple whose drawing style just did not call to me, and browsing through the book confirmed my lack of interest.

Then I found 12 Reasons Why I Love Her. Glancing at the cover I thought, great, TWO women’s name on the cover, perfect, I’ll take it. Somehow, flipping through I missed that last page with a picture of the authors –Jamie is obviously a guy. Not to come down on the man, I was just looking for women in comics. But hey, these two make a great team because once I started reading, I had to finish.

The Older Audience mention refers to occasional usage of language and situations. It also explores issues that would not necessarily hold the interest of a younger audience.

The book is organized in 12 chapters, hence the title. They are windows through the ups and downs of Gwen and Evan’s relationship, related to us out of order. I say windows because reading I felt that we were only shown certain chapters, milestones if you will, that this particular couple had to face, some of which will certainly be familiar to the reader.

Jamie Rich’s characters are fleshed out enough to have their own distinct personalities, though I felt myself irritated at Evans sometimes too typical of a guy reaction –and I am certainly no expert on the matter. It could be argued that this in itself makes him successful, that he pushed my buttons. Hmm.

I love the art. Joëlle Jones’ style flows effortlessly through the pages, displaying a very skillful use of the black and white.

Her approach is uncluttered. The lines are dynamic, the flow of the brush seem natural and un-coerced. Jones gives her character a natural ease that makes them very believable. The attitudes, the body language, the facial expressions are right on.

Panels go from down to the bare essentials to what I call the masterful illusion of details. A sense that there is a complete scene present, with the surrounding entering our consciousness just enough to give us an understanding and glimpse into the characters’ physical reality, yet without interfering with the fact that we really only see them. Focusing on that scenery will reveal a few well placed lines and details to make it familiar. Our brain does the rest.

All in all I found myself going back through just to look at the panels, a certain sequence that was particularly well done, one picture, framing, background, and being the slightly anal virgo, the proper chronological sequence of events.

Joëlle Jones is listed as a “newcomer.” Welcome, I hope to see a lot more.

Last Updated: June 23, 2021 - 00:45

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