I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
I highly recommend Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. The story is empowering, yet also speaks to the reality that girls who don't follow along with the normative feminine behaviors must face. It has a great story and message that everyone can understand and probably has gone through at some point.
Astrid (awesome name) is one of those girls. As my mother put it when it came to me, "She marches to a different drummer." She prefers to wear black instead of pink, which is the favorite color of her best friend Nicole. And when it comes to cute clothes and talking about boys, she's just not interested! Despite their differences Nicole and Astrid have been friends since first grade, so that means friends forever, right?
Wrong. After attending a roller derby Astrid is stoked to go to Roller Derby camp over the summer, but she doesn't realize that Nicole is not into it until the day before camp starts, when Nicole breaks it to Astrid that she's attending Ballerina Camp with Rachel, Astrid's arch nemesis, instead.
Reading through the graphic had me recalling my own struggles as a tomboy getting along with the other girls when I had opposing interests to theirs, so it was refreshing and empowering to see a story written about a girl like me, for other girls like me.
I also liked that Astrid and every other character, were very realistic. Sometimes they knew what they were doing, sometimes they just bumbled through, sometimes they made poor decisions even when they knew there was a better option. Sometimes they were bad friends, sometimes they were great friends.
I also loved how hard Astrid worked to achieve her dream and even though she didn't quite make it to be the Derby star she envisioned she was able to take one for the team and it looked like she was going to keep working hard and training. It's a story not only of friendship and the tough times of being a kid, but about teamwork and elbow grease and keeping it up even if you aren't the star of the show.
For fans of Raina Telgemeier, El Deafo, and Liz Prince.
If you liked Roller Girl try Tomboy by Liz Prince: