January 1, 2009

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Paris

Written by Andi Watson
Illustrated by Simon Gane
SLG

Comics Worth Reading just did a review for this book, which made me think of mine, as we appear to have had similar reactions, though mine was harsher, as I feel like it was less of a story and more of an excuse to write about lesbians. Johanna's review is better than mine, but this is my review blog, so you're stuck with my pithy comments instead of her desire for a book with more depth to it.

I've liked the Andi Watson I've read so far, so I was really disappointed to hit this male-written lesbian fantasy featuring entirely too many drawn lines from Gane. Set in the (I guess more restrictive?) 1950s, a young American artist paints pictures of the wealthy to pay her way through art school.

While I'm sure this is not the first woman she's painted, she falls madly in love with a girl in high society, who also loves her (for what? her commonality? the fact that she can dump her and marry a man later? I just didn't get it.). While the two are kept apart, the arranged marriage for our wealthy part of this duo has a terrible secret in his closet. You can probably guess what that means.

Crushed by her inability to break into the high parts of Paris, our heroine returns home to paint signs for her dad's hardware store. This was, I felt, a perfectly fine ending, but we get the "happily ever after" treatment anyway. So yeah, the girl gets the girl, just like in the movies. Roll credits.


One of the things I've liked about Watson's other work is the details we see about the characters. I felt like I knew the protagonists in Love Fights, right down to a jealous cat. This time around, everyone feels like stock characters placed in a b-movie based on a chick lit book. There's no strong motivation, no inner monologue, no real reason for the characters to act as they do except to move the plot along. For a writer I enjoy, I expect more to the story. This time I didn't get it.