The classic romance from the team behind Lady Killer is back in print with a brand new hardcover edition! Now in a larger size, and featuring excerpts from the original script, this 10-year anniversary edition is perfect for fans of Fresh Romance. Twelve vignettes reveal the story of young couple Gwen and Evan’s tumultuous relationship, one small piece at a time. It all adds up to an unforgettable romance rife with drama, humor, and heart.
When I bought this book directly from Jamie Rich at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con, I started off our conversation by saying, "I just heard the WORST podcast review of this book, but I really want to buy it anyways."
Classy, I know.
It was one of those moments where the things coming out of my mouth didn't exactly match all the things I was thinking in my head. I'd been following Jamie's work for years and I'd been enjoying every bit of it. The negative review I mentioned to him was one of those reviews where everything that the critic hated about the book was exactly the sort of thing that I often seek out when I'm looking for something to read. I tried to explain this, but I think I just managed to insert my foot a little further into my mouth.
In the end, I certainly have no regrets about ignoring the jaded review and picking up a copy of Twelve Reasons at the show. Jamie takes the romantic comedy, removes the filler, dices up what's left, and rearranges it in a way that makes it feel fresh and new. The unique narrative structure also allows for some experimental uses of the page and a good excuse to go back through the book and give it a second read.
The real star of the show, however, is Joelle Jones. Her pencils and inks are expressive, attractive, sexy, and fun. Perfect for the story. Rich's script also gives Jones plenty of opportunities to push her style in some interesting and unexpected directions. Actually, I think the more experimental scenes could have been expanded to great effect. I would have loved to have seen even more of pages of her delicate ink washes or sketchy, first-person POV panel work.
Jones is definitely an artist to keep an eye on. I'm looking forward to seeing what each of these creators comes up with next.
Apparently, love has no reasons. And love in itself will never work. Friendship is a must. Being in love with whoever is a great thing but it does not always work when there is no understanding friendship. Love is the deal of heart. But friendship is the deal of mind. We need both to survive our relationships.
This was a disappointment. The story, which was already pretty cliche, had no depth whatsoever. I would be lying if I claimed to have enjoyed anything about it other than the illustrations. Word to the wise: jumbling the vignettes so you have to piece the story together does not make an uninteresting story interesting.
One of the best parts about this graphic novel, apart from the terrific art by Joelle Jones and Rich's extremely realistic dialog, is the decision to use an out-of-sequence narrative style to tell the story. First date, big fight, getting to know each other, break-up fight, etc. are all told in an order that is non-linear, but thoroughly engrossing for someone who's ever been in a real relationship. The key is that after it's over, you're left with the pieces of a story and how you even fell in love with them in the first place.
As I've noted before, romance is decidedly NOT my genre but this graphic novel had enough interpersonal conflict (and musical references) to keep my attention, plus it was there and I had an hour's time to waste.
I've lately been messing around with a set of comic characters I created--gulp--20 years ago now, and whom I've continued to revisit over the ensuing years, occasionally revising their looks and putting them in new situations and adventures. So appreciated the wordiness of this one as a study in creating dialogue.
Felt a bit like a hipster approved romantic-dramedy. "Quirky" conversations and unnecessary drama in effort to appear deep. The out of chronological order vignettes-style seemed an effort to distract from the barely there plot. This isn't all to say I disliked the book, I was just hoping it would be a bit more substantial. Lovely illustrations though.
I'm not really a big fan of romance graphic novels, but this is the exception. Well written and well drawn and the vignette-style lends the whole comic lots of atmosphere. In short, it explores the relationship of a young preppy couple, Gwen and Evan. Both headstrong and charming and shmaltzy to say the least. It's a straightforward boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy breaks up with girl, etc., etc., kind of romance, but the non-linear narrative adds lots of spice to the different stages of their lovelife. The vignettes are snapshots that when put together make the whole thing come alive. It's always cool to see something beautiful and lyrical come out of an experimental mode of storytelling. Highly recommend this.
Ummmmmm. I picked this up on the off-chance that it would be okay. It was way better than okay. It's a little high-faluting/existential dialogue-wise for the format, but that was ok with me. It was about people who are too smart and self-contained to not speak their minds, sometimes bicker and sometimes fight bitterly, but they're in love anyway. Told in 12 out-of-chronological order vignettes with some variance in writing and illustration styles which suited both the changing personal moods and ups and downs of the relationship....I really loved this, and it reminded me how much I like smart, emo romance comics (some of Demo, Love Roma, mostly) and how that is nothing to be ashamed of -- the lyrical quality of comic books works so well for the romantic mood.
Some of my fave salient moments:
-"Most existential parables are just love stories without a romantic interest." Um wow, yeah.
-arguments about religion and the appropriateness of off-color jokes, going to the movies, Mad Men dream interludes, memories of miscarriages, etc...
I hope my comeeks friends will read this because I want to know if it just hit me this way or if is actually that good.
1 star for the art. -4 stars for the ridiculous, boring relationship, lack of plot, unlikeable characters, stilted dialogue and offensive language. The main male character actually told the female character "I hope you die."
Jones: -It's cute art which I mean as a straight-forward compliment. Adding more to it wouldn't work here.
Mr. Fluffery Buffington: -The story and all its accoutrements are funny with enough regularity and are highly relatable to the target audience with appropriately measured depth.
Comments: -The one who arrives at the first date bringing flowers picked on the way is cute. EITHER ONE bringing a purchased ensemble of roses isn't, as presented by her, original/funny/egalitarian (the latter because the female in this case has the real-life power)- IT'S CREEPY.
-I don't care how you feel about your manhood or such things when a picture like that invites you up- you accept and give her the good old-fashioned hate-****. You are then rid of her or, if do right, you have a late-night text coming in every so often and a perfectly understood relationship sans hate. Unless that's what she's into under that polished exterior which accordingly adds depth and challenge to some salacious sweat.
-The old lady scene and it's aftermath were very well done. Of course she could, in an Eden she's surely never known, use a good dance with the devil to take the edge of that aggressive theology!
I'll leave my know-it-all positing there as I'm not here as a referee.
I'd probably actually rate this as 3 1/2 stars, but I'm going on the higher side.
I really do love Jamie S. Rich's ability to tell a romance story, but this one wasn't particularly my favorite. The characters were far less likable than some of his other fare, but it does paint a realistic portrait of a troubled relationship that maybe we've been in, or seen someone else involved in. I kept hoping there might be a glimmer of hope for the characters end, but ultimately the story didn't have that sort of ending.
Joelle Jones never fails to disappoint me. She draws human characters a bit more simplistically than a lot of other artists, but it absolutely works. I'm sucked in by her art every single time. Realistic and beautiful.
Not my favorite collaboration from these two, but still worth a read if you're into the romance graphic novel genre.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I did like one scene and the drawing is genuinely nice.
The story, though, is a lot like a version of "The Last Five Years" musical, except with less of everything. Less character development. Less plot. Less sympathetic moments. Less thought. In fact, it feels like a wannabe TLFY story, except from Jamie's point of view, which somehow makes it even worse.
The female character is not developed at all and the male character is shitty to her all throughout; laughing at her interests and likes, arguing for no reason, not letting her finish a thought, and acting pissy for no reason. I mean, it's a lot of small stuff but, you can get flattened by a ton of pebbles just as easily as a single boulder.
The ending also seems extremely blown out of proportion. I don't know... I didn't spend money on it so I'm not really mad about it but I wouldn't really recommend buying it.
I liked this graphic novel but it wasn't what I expected. I was hoping for some sweet romance, clear and direct reasons why this person loved their girlfriend. Instead, it was a lot of scenes where they argue or fight, and while I understand love can come out of those places, I felt like I missed something. Or maybe I missed the point entirely. It didn't help that the author intentionally places the scenes out of chronological order, so I was left trying to figure out where in this relationship I was. Evan, the main male character, also tells Gwen, his (ex?) girlfriend "I hope you die" during a fight that he really creates. It made me dislike him almost instantly.
The beautiful drawings are certainly the saving grace of this graphic novel.
This romance story told in non-sequential order through a dozen song-driven vignettes is an interesting concept, but one largely undone by the dialogue, which comes off very much as what a male writer imagines ideal romantic dialogue between Very Interesting People must sound like, and not how people actually talk to each other. There's more than a little Manic Pixie Dream Girl fetishization going on, and the story ends with female condemnation. What rescues this as a reading experience is Joelle Jones's artwork. Even though this is her introduction - and she would get much, much better - this work is a delightful visual experience and one that makes you largely overlook the cringey shortcomings of the writing.
I had high hopes for this book, but it didn't really pan out. I enjoyed the art a good deal, and everything was easy to follow, though some of the facial expressions were far too extreme for the situation, which initially made the male main character unlikeable. The female main character became unlikeable later on, and the ending was incredibly disappointing.
Meh. Liked the art, kinda liked the out-of-chronological technique at the start, but by the end I wasn't that charmed by it and it left things confusing in the long run. Characters weren't the most likable, but I could see this being a good discussion piece for non-traditional plot ordering and creative writing.
Awwwwww what a cutesie book! I wish it was chronological in how they met just so it would flow better, but regardless I still really enjoyed it and even liked that the last chapter was how they met and tied back to the first chapter which was their first date! Really cool and graphic art and the cutest little stories.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I appreciated the non-linear story telling and the various references to other comics/kinds of comics (as those that I noticed both specifically and "clearly this is referencing something but idk what") were very fun. A one time read though, and one I don't know that I'd want to rec to anyone. might have felt a little more fresh back when it was first published?
No me hizo sentir nada, la historia fue muy cliché. Le doy una estrella por la ilustración y una por la playlist que por cierto la hice en youtube y esta en modo público por si quieres escucharla, varias canciones están muy bonitas.
Short and sweet slice of life of two people and their relationship. With all good sweet romance moments, all their differences,disappointing choices, all the big little things that goes between two people. Art is very old school but it is great. Dialog is even better. Very real.
The art is gorgeous but the story and characters... Yeah. Also I don't how two or three fights are the reason you love someone. Maybe if this was fucked up version from the violent-idiot man lolita style, id make sense.
This is such an unusual graphic novel! This love story of a young man and woman is told in black and white drawings, with each chapter listing a song to listen to as you read. It was not a favorite but it's worth reading for this unique feature.
This didn't quite do it for me. You're introduced to the characters and immediately know that the guy is kind of the worst; and then he doesn't get better, but they keep seeing each other. Yuck- no thank you.
I loved the art style of this, and the way the story pieced together the relationship- but struggled to understand why they were in a relationship to begin with when so many of the 12 reasons were conflicts and disagreements.