Saturday, November 17, 2007

Suburban Glamour

It might be a little behind to review this now but I have only just recently picked up the issue. Suburban Glamour is the first issues of the new comic by artist/writer Jamie McKelvie. Jamie McKelvie has come to prominence as the artist for the Long Hot Summer and Phonogram mini-series that have been previously available through Image Comics. Suburban Glamour is a creator owned book also made available through Image Comics.

Suburban Glamour is a 24 page full-color comic book.

Like Phonogram before it (created with co-writer Kieron Gillen) this comic could best be qualified as being a part of the modern fantasy genre, with much similar to novels such as Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, or a television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. McKelvie's work is probably similar in tone to Buffy, as it also features teenage/young adult characters and has a great deal of pop culture referencing inside of it (like Phonogram most of that referencing is of a musical variety).

Suburban Glamour is a strong work, and demonstrates that McKelvie is a capable writer, in addition to having a very clean illustrating style. I have to admit that I first picked up Phonogram on the strength of the McKelvie's artwork, although recommendations from other like fan-favorite author Warren Ellis didn't hurt either. However, for me, one of the main flaws with Suburban Glamour comes from having a familiarity with McKelvie's previous work on that. From a character design standpoint, the main characters of the book (particularly Astrid and Chris) are very similar to the characters of David Kohl and Emily from Phonogram. Too similar in my opinion, to a point of distraction at times. Although having the art in Suburban Glamour in color does have some differences from the black and white art of Phonogram.

The story so far, taking into consideration that this is the first of a four issue mini-series, seems to be a simple coming of age story about the main character of Astrid, a "typical" British teenager. The supernatural elements, much like a modern faery tale, are what make this story anything but typical. However, I do not want to give away too much of the story away, as that would take away the discovery of the story on it's own. Suffice it to say, this issue should appeal to fans of modern fantasy or modern faery tales.

From a gaming standpoint, I can see this comic having an appeal to game masters and players of White Wolf's recent Changeling the Lost game. It would also be of interest to those who play Eden Studio's Witchcraft or Buffy games. I can see easily adapting this story to Witchcraft, perhaps it being the story of newly awakening Gifted characters.

All in all, I was very impressed with this first issue of Suburban Glamour and highly recommend picking up a copy. And if you enjoy Suburban Glamour I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a copy of the Phonogram trade paperback as well.