Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > CR Reviews

Jin & Jam #1
posted April 23, 2009


Creator: Hellen Jo
Publishing Information: Sparkplug, comic book, 36 pages, 2008, $5
Ordering Numbers:

This book clearly owns at least a visual debt to Taiyo Matsumoto's Black And White. A quote from that work rests on the comic's front page and, well, just look at the damn thing. Any additional similarities threaded more deeply in the fabric of the narrative I'll leave to those with a more deeply-felt appreciation for Matsumoto's splendid book. What I can say after reading Jin & Jam #1 is that for me, at least, the use of those visual stylizations works incredibly well in this story of restless teenage girls forming friendships and establishing personal boundaries. Not only that, the cartoonist made very clever use of that which was employed. It's apt; it's fun.

To give you an idea of the physical craziness on display, at a point late in the issue a bicycle cop breaks up a fight between Jin and a conjoined pair of twins. He does so by leaping off his bike, assaulting the onlookers (who are children), and then roping some of them with a lasso. (Five percent of me believes that last thing didn't happen or I read it wrong. Still.) The great thing is that this descent into madness makes total sense according to what we've experienced thus far. The loopy physicality that sloshes over the sides of nearly every page functions on its own and accurately reflects a state of mind when one transitions from being a younger kid into being a pre-teen or teenager and you begin to see wild things that you never in your life thought you could ever see occur. I'd recommend Jin & Jam #1 solely on the energy brought to bear between its covers, and would come back solely for something executed with the same degree of skill. I'll hope for even more, though.