Review: Snotgirl #2

Eventually, I will get over the fear of Bryan Lee O’Malley publishing a bad issue, but if 2015 comics taught me anything, it’s to live in fear of the second issue going terribly wrong. Not the case here, though there are some quirks to this issue keep it from being perfect. The story does not pick up where the first issue left off. That is okay with me. It added to the drama of “did it really happen”? Now, I assume that if you’re reading a review for the second issue you bothered to read the first issue and with that, I will announce a spoiler from said first issue. Why? Because it is important to the plot. Ready? Okay, Coolgirl is dead.

That’s where we pick up, with Lottie panicking about what to do about turning herself into the police. She knows she should, that it’s the right thing to do, but she doesn’t. She’s a flawed character that's scared and has gone through something very traumatic and isn’t talking to anyone about it. You have to understand that; you have to put yourself in Lottie’s shoes and though it’s easy to say, “I would turn myself in” how many times on the news do you hear or see a person being arrested because they didn’t want to do that? How many Dateline’s and documentaries about people that could have avoided trouble by turning themselves in that didn’t? I point this out because it might come across as a mere excuse to continue the story, but I think that it’s an important detail that makes up Lottie’s character.

Snotgirl #2There're two other major events in this issue. One I will tell you about because it’s major in that it changes the landscape, but doesn’t spoil anything and the other I will vaguely talk about by bringing up another story it reminded me of. For it to be a spoiler, you would have to have knowledge of the story, so be careful.

The first is that Lottie has an intern, and she reveals that Lottie had a former intern that’s dating her ex-boyfriend. This simple little scene leads us down a rabbit hole that may or may not be inspired by Perfect Blue. If it is, then O’Malley has won me over, and I will be onboard forever. If it’s not… who am I kidding? I’ll still be here, but I’ll still be trying to figure it all out. I want to elaborate more, but it’s too early into the series, and it would just make this a spoiler review and I don’t want that.

What’s strange about this issue is that the use of social media is almost entirely removed when you compare it to the first issue. It’s weird because this issue would have been completed before the first issue was released and so no feedback from the public would have changed it. Granted, it’s not particularly needed, but it was one of the quirks of the first issue that worked. O’Malley and Leslie Hung understood the social media they were mimicking and used it tastefully.

A stumble on the story side comes near the end when a new character is introduced, and we’re given just too much about this character, too quickly. That and it’s at the end of the issue, so it feels awkwardly placed. It would have been a great start to the next issue, but as it stands, it fits with the rest of the issue but is clumsy.

The art from Hung is still very enjoyable. The use of pink has never been better in a comic book, and the fashion that is modern and not a throwback to the fucking 70s or 80s is just awe inspiring. My biggest complaint about comic is that the hair always sucks. Thankfully Snotgirl is here to change that. That parts that were weird for me involved Cutegirl. There are times when she doesn’t fit in with the rest of the world. When Cutegirl and Lottie are spying on the ex-intern, her legs and feet look floaty and strange. Her dress cut also look way too high as if she’s missing a torso. The dress itself is intriguing, but it looked too flowy. It’s minor, but when a book looks this damn good, it’s hard not to notice the little things that stand out.

Snotgirl isn’t likely to win over superhero readers the way Scott Pilgrim once did, but for those of us reading it, it is a unique comic experience. Never before have I read a comic about fashion, blogging, with a mix of murder and sordid love affair. If you read comics because of stories and for stories that you’d never see anywhere else, then Snotgirl is absolutely a comic book you should check out. It could surprise you; it could also hurt your eyes with just how damn good it looks.

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Snotgirl #2 Writer: Bryan Lee O’Malley Artist: Leslie Hung Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital