Anthony's Reviews > Strugglers: a graphic novel

Strugglers by Tim Fish
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's review
Mar 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novels, lgbt

Strugglers is a short but wonderful graphic novel by the very talented Tim Fish. Some of you may be familiar with Tim's more well-known series "Cavalcade of Boys;" Strugglers is a prequel of sorts to that series, but you don't have to be familiar with Cavalcade to enjoy Strugglers.

Strugglers is the story of three almost-accidental roommates in Saint Louis. It is part coming-out tale (Tighe, the truly accidental roommate, struggles with his attraction to Mike, the hot jock across the hall; it doesn't help that Mike is actively gay and interested in Tighe), part rocker-chick success story (Alison & Tracy, the long-term roommates who take Tighe in, compete to see who can be successful first, and both are dating guys in other bands when the story starts). it's all wonderfully paced, with equal attention given to the three roommates and a good amount of time spent developing the supporting characters.

Tim's art is clean and fun; there aren't any muddy, ambiguous panels, and the characters are individualized and recognizable both from page to page and from each other. Some panels are more playful than others (there are a few that show a distinct Walt Simonson influence, an odd thing to see outside of super-hero comics, but for those particular panels the style works), but every panel advances the story clearly. The author's notes at the end say that much of this is preserved from when he first created the story several years ago, and so there is the occasional sense that some pages are more polished than others the roughness of some pages adds to the charm, and I agree with Tim's decision not go to back and redraw the entire story for this edition.

I definitely recommend Strugglers. It's a good straight-forward novella with interesting characters and a real flow and dynamic to it.

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