Saturday, January 22, 2005

Electric Girl - Did You Know Star Wars Was Close To Being Rated G?

I mention that in the headline to point out that stories designed to be enjoyed by a "general audience," do not always mean that they can only be enjoyed by a juvenile audience.

Star Wars managed to avoid the G rating by adding some charred corpses (in a scene directly lifted from the awesome Searchers by John Ford)...but Electric Girl does not add any sort of "gross for the sake of being gross" bit to the comic.

And yet, Electric Girl is still, like Star Wars, a story that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

Electric Girl is about a girl named Virginia who was born with electric powers. Basically, her power is that she is surging with electricity. The name "Electric Girl" does not refer to any superhero name or anything like that, it's just what people call her. She is the "Electric Girl."

Her main supporting cast is her parents, her cute little dog, Blammo, her two closest girlfriends, and her (sigh) gremlin friend, Oogleeoog.

I really do not dig the gremlin character.

Gremlins, in the world of Electric Girl, are these invisible creatures who cause havoc on earth. Which is fine enough. But is not that I dislike Oogleeoog, it is more that I really do not see his purpose in the stories. Yes, the writer has Oogleeoog as a "trouble magnet," to explain how all sorts of weird stuff always happens around Virginia...but really, would anyone complain if this weird stuff just happened to occur? I know I wouldn't. Not only that, but the stories in the book that are the best are the ones that DON'T include Oogleeoog. The strongest stories are the normal, character-driven ones. With those insults being said, Oogleeoog is not a bad character, and he can be funny sometimes...I just think the book would be stronger without him.

The creator, Michael Brennan, does a fine job on the art (a nice, clean cartoony style...although, once again, the biggest drawback I would say would be his drawings of Oogleeoog), but he really shines on dialogue and character intractions. The way Virginia and the interesting supporting cast interact is really solid stuff (Virginia and her parents, Virginia and her friends, Her friends amongst themselves). Often, the book really reads a lot like Blue Monday...that is, if something actually ever happened in Blue Monday(I kid Blue Monday because I care). There is a really fun story about a zombie who, well, doesn't act like a typical zombie. Funny stuff. And a really nice, character-driven piece about what happens on the first really humid day of the year.

There IS one story that is a bit...well, out of place...where Oogleeoog tries to save Virginia (in a flashback story) from a child molester without breaking his oath to never directly assist a human. It is a fine story seeing Oogleeoog trying to aid Virginia without doing so directly, but dude, it is a CHILD MOLESTER! That's a bit too creepy to use as the centerpiece of a "will the gremlin break his oath and use his powers to help a human?" story, ya know?

The stories in Electric Girl read a lot like an Archie digest, in that they are a bunch of stories, of varying lengths. In addition, like Archie digests, there are a few "Lil' Virginia" flashback stories (like the child molester one, but also more normal ones, like when Virginia got Blammo). You can really tell that these characters were designed first for a comic strip, because that sense of storytelling really comes across. Like the Archie characters, these characters work well either way.

The cover design for the first trade is TERRIBLY unappealing. In fact, if I were to direct someone to find it, I think I would say, "Just look for the trade with the goddawful cover, and you'll find it!" Look at the cover here.

In any event, it definitely is a fun comic, and one I would recommend highly, especially if you enjoy Bleu, it is very similar, except, like I said before, with stuff actually happening.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the Gremlin's not there so much to be a cool character as he is to be a sounding board for Virginia. Since thought balloons are outlawed in modern comics.

Got this out of the library a while back, and basically agree with your points; Good character action, not so good fantasy. Really boring trade design. Both volumes.

Did you read that Supergirl/Mary Marvel story in Bizzaro comics that Dylan Horrocks wrote? Kind of like that.


1/23/2005 01:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/23/2005 02:57:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I read Bizarro Comics, yet I do not remember the details of the Mary Marvel/Supergirl story.

How odd.

I think the PAD story just ruined all Mary Marvel/Supergirl stories for me.

1/23/2005 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Aw, man! You deleted the most awesome post this blog has ever seen!

I'm depressed now.

Almost depressed enough not to mention that I loved the Horrocks/Abel Mary/Supergirl piece enough that I have two pages from it hanging in my room.

1/23/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Ah....I remember seeing it at your apartment, but I still do not recall the story.

1/23/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

The Mary Marvel/Supergirl story by Horrocks and Abel was a conversation between an adult, retired from the hero game Mary and Supergirl, who's in costume during the story. I thought it was one of the standouts of the book.

As far as the Electric Girl cover goes, it doesn't jump out at you, but it doesn't look bad to me. Looks like something Andi Watson would do (did he draw it?). I may have to pick the book up, at any rate, because I am a big fan of Blue Monday. Even if nothing happens in it. But gross out comedy. And cursing. And lots of mod and Brit Pop references that I barely get.

1/23/2005 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...



...DUSTY Abel?

That guy is one of my FAVORITE artists. I love him passionately. What is he doing lately? More comics should be drawn by him.

I must buy Bizarro Comics. It was already on the list, but now it's on the DOUBLE LIST.

1/23/2005 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

No, no, no. Not that Art Adams rip-off. Jessica "Artbomb" Abel, right here in BROOKLYN.

1/24/2005 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/24/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Dusty Abel is nothing like Art Adams, you know-nothing asshole. I will brain you for getting facts wrong.

1/24/2005 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I remember his early work was very much in Adams' style. Sure, he's gotten away from that, but I'll always remember him that way.

Besides, an Adams rip is better than most superhero artists anyway.

1/24/2005 01:59:00 PM  
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