Thursday, 23 March 2017

Snotgirl Vol. 1: Green Hair Don't Care - review

What could be the worst crisis for a fashion blogger? You're image constantly being ruined by gloopy phlegm and streaming tears. Damn allergies!  Then the cool new girl you're suddenly friends with gives you a cute-but-mean nickname. Snottie?! But the one thing that would really ruin a fashion bloggers day is to find out that maybe you accidentally killed the cool new girl and her body is nowhere to be found...

A complicated and not always likeable character, Lottie Person's is the green-haired protagonist of this josei-style comic. Beautiful, successful and popular, she is also arrogant and insecure. She describes her closest friends as "horrible people" (and they probably think the same about her), and realises the vacuous nature of her career while also embracing it fully. Lottie also suffers from jealousy; from the cool new girl Caroline, who is far more nonchalant and secure than Lottie, to Charlene, the creepy fan who also happens to be dating her ex-boyfriend. Refreshingly, Lottie is not perfect, and we are privy to her hang-ups. As she dramatically says about her snot-covered cowardice, "I'm a monster that knows its a monster."

Written by Scott Pilgrim's Bryan Lee O'Malley, Snotgirl is a kind of mystery-drama, and frustratingly ends the first volume on a cliff hanger after investing not-so-much in the mystery aspect. There is the disappearance of the apparently dead cool girl, who becomes more and more effervescent as the story goes on, then the nerdy Charlene, who comes to trouble at the hands of Lottie as well. We are led to believe that Lottie's new, experimental allergy medicine may have something to do with these characters fates, but this plot is put aside (for now, I hope) to develop the feuds between the different bloggers. While I enjoy their petty arguments, it feels that Snotgirl's plot will be a slow burner.

The stand out aspect, for me, is the art and colouring. Leslie Hung, in her first major release, provides us with lively and emotive illustrations. She has clearly done her research, as each character, the Normgirl, the Cutegirl and others, each display their personal branding through their sartorial choices, making Snotgirl a possible gold-mine for 2010's fashion in the future. Mickey Quinn's colours are also exceptional, providing a welcome burst of intense shades, as well as some lovely transitions in day to night lighting.

Snotgirl may stand a chance of breaking into the mainstream. It has an attractive protagonist, a famous author, and a friendly style to it. The plot would be easy to adapt for film or TV, and the cosplay could be popular. Volume 1 may not provide enough plot to make is a satisfactory story in and of itself, but has enough intrigue to make me buy the next collection. Lottie, however, is a fascinating car crash of a person, and one I'm willing watch crash more and more.



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