It’s been a long time coming with this review, but I finally had the chance to sit down with it. I have to say that I was a bit worried going into the review. There is no guarantee that the second issue of a mini-series will as good as the first and as a reviewer I wondered if I would have anything new to say about the series. Well I do have this to say, Jules Rivera is a talented storyteller. In comics we look at it as writers and artists and everyone else, but that doesn’t mean that either job or all of them combine make a storyteller. To me someone who can tell a good story can do just that, they tell a story. While Misfortune High is of course a comic book, the story is well crafted enough that you could pass on the story to others. By this I mean the ancient tradition of verbally passing on a story from one another which is where all storytelling comes from. Misfortune High is a world and story so rich that I can imagine experiencing it many ways, we’re all just lucky enough that Rivera is a talented artist and has chosen the comic medium.
With that said something I instantly noticed was how similar the structure and even the routine of this issue was, but therein lays the charm of it. In the first issue we followed Biscuit as he arrived at his new school having been kicked out from his rich prep school for cheating and overall laziness in the field of magic. In this issue we follow Johnny the troublemaker/outcast of the story and school. He’s the Judd Nelson of our tale and as we discovered in the first issue… he’s also the major catalyst of the plot line. After “working” all night he sets in for some sleep on the couch aka his bedroom. His slumber is disturbed by the rest of his family as they begin laying into him about… well, being him. Whereas the kids at school fear him, his family treats him like a troublesome child.
Even after promising Sonia that he would leave Biscuit alone, the two start in on each other almost instantly. It ends with Biscuit challenging Johnny to a duel. We continue to follow Johnny as he develops from a misunderstood thug, to a guy just trying to help his family not matter the cost.
As with the first issue there is a great balance of character development, comedy and drama. After seeing Johnny’s life you really can’t blame him 100% for the way he acts. Sure he could be different, but that’s not the story here. Rivera’s pacing for the tale and the familiarities between Biscuit (I know his real name it’s just fun to call him Biscuit) and Johnny only grow as their stories intertwine more and more.
I remember raving about the artwork on the first issue. Well it’s still great. I mean it’s not like Rivera’s style has changed or suddenly stopped being awesome so this book looks exactly like the first issue and really isn’t that exactly what all comic readers want? Personally I find the character expressions and physical comedy to be a big draw for the series. In particular I enjoyed the morning scene with Biscuit and his family and newly extended family as it had that balance between humorous dialogue and funny facial expressions. On the serious side there’s a look that Sonia gives Johnny that he talks about in the issue was very accurate. It looks exactly how Johnny described it.
The Kickstarter for the second issue just ended last week so you won’t be able to get an early issue, but if you hit Jules Rivera up on Twitter I’m sure she’ll let you know how you can get a copy. Personally I’m looking forward to the completed graphic novel. I think once it reaches that point it’s going to grow in popularity. So be on the lookout for Misfortune High especially if you like magic and teen angst and let’s be honest… that’s most of us.