3 not-terrific graphic novels

Central Library’s impressive graphic novel selection is of extremely mixed quality. Here’s three which aren’t terrific:

Burnout
Rebecca Donner & Inaki Miranda
Minx 2008

One of the twelve graphic novels for young girls published by Minx before its untimely demise. Like many of the titles in the series, the protagonist is a teenage girl who escapes from a bad family situation by going out late at night and breaking minor laws with a disreputable older boy. In this case, it’s her stepbrother, who she also hooks up with, which is slightly icky. Usually in the Minx books the lawbreaking allows the character to discover herself as a person… not so in this one. Not the best of the series.

Bye Bye Birdie
Shirley Hughes
Jonathan Cape 2009

A curious album by the famous children’s book illustrator Shirley Hughes. It’s only 32 pages long with no text, and looks like it’s been reprinted from the 1940s. The story of a dapper man who tries to seduce a pretty girl and ends up trapped in a dreadful Bird World, it’s elegant in its execution, but I can’t work out what it’s doing in the Adult section.

Jesus Hates Zombies: Those Slack-Jawed Blues
Stephen Lindsay et al.
Alterna Comics 2008

The title is brilliant. The premise – Jesus returns to Earth to kill zombies – is brilliant. The execution is dreadful. There’s only so many ways you can engineer a situation where Jesus ends up fighting zombies, especially if you don’t have much of an imagination. It reaches a nadir with the same 6-page script printed four times, drawn badly by ComicSpace artists. Avoid.

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