Graphic Novel Review 241/365: The Altered History of Willow Sparks

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or search #365GN on Twitter.

Hey, all! I have some cool things coming your way in March, so make sure that you are checking back every day. I appreciate you for reading.

Here’s a cool new Oni Press book that came out earlier this year!

Title: The Altered History of Willow Sparks  

Author(s): Tara O’Connor

Publisher: Image Comics (2014)

Age Rating: 13+

The Altered History of Willow Sparks stands with many coming of age graphic novels that came before it.  In some ways, this book is similar and familiar to those that came before it.  And I do not fault it for that.  This genre of high school kid trying to find a way to fit in will always be needed, and titles will need to keep coming out to keep the genre fresh.

However, there is something unique about The Altered History of Willow Sparks, for as the title suggests, Willow Sparks finds a way to make herself into something that she is not.  A nerd at heart, Willow works at the local library, and one night, having discovered a secret room within the library with books titled with only the names of local townspeople, Willow quickly discovers that if she pens her own story into the blank pages of her book, what she writes will become reality.

This twist allows this book to stand out a bit in the genre.  And while Willow doesn’t ever do anything crazy with her newly discovered artifact, the subtle changes and existence of her book are enough to peak curiosity.  I wanted a little more Stranger Than Fiction in the discovery of the book by Willow, and I wanted her to make a couple of more outrageous alterations other than a new sweater and the removal of a few pimples, but the book remains based in a reality that is fairly normal, and I understand that these alterations might have put the book over the top in its tone.  Maybe O’Connor can make it a series with other kids finding their own books, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a Crazy Pete that turns himself into a dog that shoots lightning or something.

Happy reading!

Eric

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