I will admit, I fell in love with Ms. Norrie’s artwork when I read the first Hopeless Savages. Cheat is her first solo book, and her artwork just shines all the way through. The black and white flow of her ink is beautiful and fully suited to this modern cautionary tale. Cheat is, rather obviously, about cheating. In this case, it’s all about romantic cheating, and the many reactions to and consequences of such a situation. What isn’t so obvious about Cheat is the resonance of the emotions and the simplicity of a well-told tale. There’s are no fateful plots twists or revelations. Conversations are mundane in the best sense of the word — familiar and welcoming. There’s a truth in behavior shown by keen observation of just what romantic betrayal means, and the fallout for each person involved. This title is good for older teens and adults, and not really because of content (the one sex scene is not particularly explicit — in fact, it’s quite beautifully rendered) but more because of the sophistication behind the feelings contemplated. That being said, it’s a shoe-in for all those girls who love romance comics — this one just gives them a little more to chew on than most.
by Christine Norrie
Oni Press 2003