Monday, 13 August 2012

morning glories

Series: Morning Glories
Words: Nick Spenser
Images: Joe Eisma, Esquejo
Issue Number: 1 and 2
Release Date:  2011
Format: Trade
Around the time of starting my hiatus I received a lovely Birthday gift of some graphic novels that I had seen and passed over while hunting around my local comic store. For me Morning Glories was a prime example of don’t judge a book by its cover. I was gifted it for my birthday and my first impression was it would be My So Called Life meets Prep school. I could not have been more wrong.
The author Nick Spenser describes the comic as “Runaways” meets “Lost" I will give  him “Runaways”. The comic follows six scrappy ragtag kids slotted into  character archetypes (and done well) who are up against evil adult authority figures that they should be able to trust but are abusing their power (in more ways then one) and are seemingly up to no good at every turn.
I tragically have never seen “Lost”. The closest I have come to watching “Lost” was when I watched the “How Lost Should Have Ended” with friends. So I have  no idea if the comic is anything at all like “Lost”.
For me it certainly did have a Whedon feel right up to making me care about characters and then making them suffer horribly or die. But instead of “Lost” for me it has elements that reminds me of Locke & Key or if I can branch into fiction books elements that remind me Charles De Lint’s horror writings (first published under the pseudonym Samuel M. Key). I am left engaged, caring about the characters, slightly on edge and in desperate need to know what happens next.
The first volume begins with each of the six students at home with their families (usually) just before they leave for their new school Morning Glory Academy. These early snippits give huge insight into the characters once and their roles once they arrive at school. On first reading I was slightly impatient but by the time I reached the end of the first volume I was very appreciative to have the context I needed to understand what was motivating how each person reacted and behaved.
So with that in mind let us get to some of the bad. The comic is pretty violent and gory at times. If that is not your thing then it is probably best you give this one a skip. It has not reached the point where I would say it is gore and violence for the sake of it but in moments it skirts painfully close to that line. Of course that does keep a very high level of tension and suspense.
There are also moments where the writers veer away from showing it all and let the readers build more horrific things in their own minds. As I have a delightfully over active imagination I’m hopeful to see more of this than the gore as the story continues on.
I’m curious and excited to see how gender will play out in the story as it develops. But before I can comment on that I am going to need a few more issues of the trades.
As it stands right now I am opting to read it in the trades as they come out. There just isn’t enough meat to each single issue to warrant adding it to the pull list. But once the entire arc comes together it has been well worth reading.

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