Friday, April 24, 2009

Life Sucks

Life Sucks
Written by: Jessica Abel
Illustrated by: Gabriel Soria, Warren Pleece
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: First Second
Language: English
April 2008, $19.99
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel

Life sucks when you're a baby-faced kid in LA -- broke, girlfriendless, and stuck in a dead-end job. Life sucks harder when that job is night manager at the Last Stop, LA's finest vampire-owned convenience store, and you're facing an eternity of restocking beef jerky and blood brew for Radu, your crappy boss and Vampire Master. It's bad enough that Dave pines for his days as a vegetarian, but when he finds himself competing with psychotic surfer-vamp Wes for the affections of Rosa, a beautiful mortal with a fixation on the dark side, unlife really gets complicated.


If it involves vampires or zombies, I will usually pick it up even if it looks more like a little romantic comedy. The one who recommended it said that it was a lighter vampire “Clerks” with shades of romance. In a way it is fitting. Dave is bored and broke, just killing time in a job he hates when he starts crushing on the cute Goth girl who comes in now and again. Dave’s life as a vampire is not glamorous. Lestat he is not. He doesn’t have the great clothes, the women immediately drawn to him, or boundless riches. What he does have is a boss who doesn’t appreciate him and no great superpowers. Life indeed sucks.
Its funny and its cute. The pacing is a bit uneven but I don’t mind. I like Dave. I feel for him. I want him to get the girl. And who doesn’t equate vampirism with a soul sucking, low paying retail job. I love how Rosa, Dave’s Goth girl, sees vampirism as the stereotypical dark dangerous and beautiful, but the reality is actually quite boring.

The artwork is fantastic, just as fun as the story itself and I found myself reading it rather quickly then sad it ended. The ending was a bit sudden and just a smidge too easy, but I enjoyed the rest of it so much that I didn’t care. Definitely a keeper.

3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks

Have your own review? Let me know and I will post it.


daydream said...

Where do you get these titles from? Is there like a well, where the waters whisper you what, when and where to search for these gems. I never knew the graphic novel scene was so blossoming. :)

Smirking Revenge said...

I dont know. I peruse the graphic novel sections in bookstores far too much. Perhaps it is because they put it right next to sci-fi/fantasy. *smile* I have just been on a graphic novel kick of late. I think its the art.

daydream said...

Why don't my book stores be more like your book stores and actually have a well developed sci-fi/ fantasy corner to put the graphic stuff next to. So many years of evolution await me.

Radiation Cinema! said...

Good post - you've really got me interested, as does the cover art. The whole book puts me to mind of Love and Rockets by the Hernandez brothers (the underlying romantic entanglements being the heart of the story). -- Mykal