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posted March 15, 2006
Jim Dougan, Danielle Corsetto
Chatterbox Comix, 52 pages, 5 3/8 X 8 3/8, $6.50
097778780X (ISBN), JUL063013 F CRAZY PAPERS GN (DIAMOND)
is that rare beast in comics -- the self-contained romantic comedy intended for adults (of all ages). Three female friends -- Melanie, Violet and Amanda -- get drawn into a couple of big situation-comedy set piece (and a couple of small ones) when free-spirit Amanda falls in love with a hopeless dope. It's a decent first effort for writer Dougan in terms of carving out differences in dialogue between his leads and maintaining a tone. The story itself and some of the set pieces, like a wacky Bon Jovi-loving old-timer who gives two of the girls a ride, come across as extremely strained -- it's not a bad thing in and of itself for a work like this to have a constant sense of its own identity as a story, but it forces a work to be emblematic as opposed to existing on its own merits. crazy papers
simply doesn't have that kind of energy, that kind of pitch-perfect realization. Dougan also falls into the trap that he seems to like his characters with far more passion than he pours into giving his readers strong reasons to join him in this affection. This only poisons the narrative late in the work, where some of the moments depend on us rooting for the characters; the reader may just roll his or her eyes. Corsetto's art is good enough you don't notice it; she has one of those eminently portable styles that should work in several genres. In the end, it's rough to nail something with this light of a tone; people may love crazy papers
for doing something few comics do right now, but they shouldn't mistake its accomplishment as anything more than a pair of talents-in-progress.