Graphic Novel Review 97/365: Gingerbread Girl

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days!  Or hit up #GN365 on Twitter.

No crazy theme this week, just some graphic novels that I think you should know about!

Title: Gingerbread Girl

Author(s): Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover

Publisher: Top Shelf (2011)

Age Rating: 17+

Gingerbread Girl is a find!  Yet another graphic novel that’s been sitting on my shelf begging to be read, Gingerbread Girl is the story of a young woman named Annah Billips who struggles with her parents traumatic divorce in a number of possibly non-healthy ways.

The book, colored in monochromatic gingerbread, has a very interesting narrative structure.  Tobin and Coover create a world in which a number of narrators switch off in telling us the tale of Annah Billips.  We hear from a pigeon, and transition to a doctor, then Annah herself, then to her date, then to a date that she stood up, then to a Bulldog…etc.  The narrators speak to us; they break the fourth wall; they try to inform us to the best of their ability why Annah might be who she is and also in an attempt to help us figure out the mystery of her estranged sister Ginger.

I do not have a strong psychology background, but this book seems to be packed with psychological concepts that could be taught in the high school classroom.  I’m going to give this book to fellow Comic Book Teacher Jason Nisavic tomorrow (he teaches psychology) and see what he thinks.

I am enamored by the complexity of this story that takes place in the course of only 105 pages.  I found myself glued to the text and the images.  Having published 96 of these reviews thus far, at times, it can feel like a chore…a chore that I do not mind doing, but like all things that take work, it does get tiring.  Reading this book was not a chore, and like Fetch from earlier this week, this book has inspired me to find more like it in my quest and bring them to you!

I know I simply teased the story and concept, but trust me, that’s all you want from me about this book.  Experience it for yourself.  It’s cerebral without feeling confusing, and the ending should leave you satisfied.  It’s a slice of life, and you will dig it.

Warning: there is a number of times where sex is mentioned, and there is a small cartoon-y image of a topless Annah, and her in bed with a guy (no nudity in that scene).  But for the most part, the sex is why this gets the 17+.  For me, it never felt gratuitous.  It works with the theme and the characters.  Judge for yourself.

Happy reading!

Eric

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