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Queen of the Black Black
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Queen of the Black Black

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This collection features all of Girlhero creator Megan Kelso's non-Bottlecap stories from that title as well as stories from Action Girl and Dark Horse Presents. Megan scrutinizes bicycle messengers, venereal diseases, infidelity, unwanted pregnancies, temporary work assignments, family reunions, and classroom daydreams in a subtle and unexpected manner. Two brand new stor ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Highwater Books (first published July 1st 1998)
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Jan Philipzig
In these early short stories from the 1990s, Megan Kelso explores situations most people are uncomfortable with, taboos most people would rather sweep under the rug. Instead of exploiting and scandalizing these situations in predictable ways, however, Kelso looks at them from unconventional and fascinating perspectives. Details emerge into the spotlight that usually remain hidden, details that ring true because they remind the reader of essential but long-forgotten feelings and experiences.

To be
I liked this a lot more than Artichoke Tales. Unsurprisingly, the collection is uneven, and I tended to enjoy the realistic stories featuring young adults the most. But maybe that's just where I am right now. I don't always find Kelso's drawing style aesthetically pleasing, and her early stuff feels especially crowded and hard to follow. But I LOVED the spread where a young woman rips her own heart out - totally frameable - layout, everything. And I loved the stories of sexual exploration. It's ...more
David Schaafsma
This is a re-release of a collection of Kelso's early stories, in which she admits she is learning how to draw and tell stories, from the last nineties. Some of it is from her Girl Hero work, which established her name in the comics world, I guess, and preceded The Squirrel Mother and Artichoke Tales, neither of which I liked much), but I liked this collection actually a little more than the the latter two, because of some of the exploration here, the experimentation and fresh points of view, ev ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Meghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of early, self-published comics by the creater of Girlhero. Definitely explorations by someone trying out different styles, but the observations, relationships and scenes drawn in these short stories are sophisticated, perceptive, and have a consistent point of view or outlook that ties them together as the work of a single author. She also has a good sense of when to end a story.
Emilia P
Oct 26, 2011 Emilia P rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Megan Kelso, you are a bonafide weirdo. Like, I have no idea where you're coming from in your brain but it is intriguing and sweet.
Short clips of your stories, some of the artsy, some of them overly literal, a single, sad Artichoke Tale. Something of the quiet harshness of life from a number of different artistic/plot angles. Keep it up, lady!

Dec 27, 2015 Brook rated it really liked it
Great stories of loss, love, and ice hearts. I got this for Christmas from a friend, and each story was a treat. I think this is out of print, but if you can find a copy, it's well worth reading. I like the style as it shifts with each story, and particularly loved the style choices for the female protagonists.
Mar 16, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, 2015
I really like Megan Kelso. Some of the stories in this I'd read before; others I hadn't seen. The last story, co-authored by her father, (view spoiler) is a real highlight. The art is beautiful and the story is moving and realistic.
Susan Rose
I don't know exactly why but I just didn't like this graphic novel short story collection. I suppose the stories just didn't resonate with me, i didn't get enough time to know the characters and the artwork didn't make up for it.

This one is just not for me.
Feb 14, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this collection of short comics. Particular favourites were the Married Man strip, the Pianist Breakup and the one where the girl rips her own heart out. Didn't really enjoy the one with the Artichoke people, although I understand there's a whole book of them.
Stewart Tame
Sep 18, 2014 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even the early in Kelso's career, her work was filled with promise. There's a depth of emotion, as well as some surprisingly subtle effects, to these stories. In "Pennyroyal Tea," we see the beginning of what would later blossom into Artichoke Tales. Good stuff!
Nice collection of different stories, some thought-provoking, some funny, some sad. All unique, clever, and well-drawn. Was nice to see some of Kelso's early work and learn about her process and growth as an artist.
I came upon this book and with her long history of writing graphics, decided to give it a try - enjoyed most pieces - very quirky...will investigate more of hers for next graphic novel mood!
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She graduated in 1994 from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Kelso started working in the 1990s, with the minicomic Girlhero, which won her a Xeric Foundation grant in 1993. She has since published several other projects including Queen of the Black Black and The Squirrel Mother. She was the editor of the female cartoonist anthology, Scherherazade: Stories of Love, Treachery, Moth
More about Megan Kelso...

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