Hopeless Savage maintains its excellent, entertaining reputation in the third volume in the series. Each trade paperback storyline focuses on one of the Hopeless-Savage children, though their family is never exactly absent from their lives. In Too Much Hopeless Savages, we zero in on Arsenal, eldest daughter and martial arts prize-winner. Arsenal has always been able to kick butt, but she’s never quite been able to figure out how to protect her own heart, and as she heads abroad to China for a competition, a myriad of problems interrupt well-laid plans. Arsenal’s fellow travelers include Arsenal’s longtime boyfriend Claude, Arsenal’s brother Twitch and his own faithful boyfriend, Claude’s brother Henry. (I’ll wait while you map out the family relationships) Though all are looking forward to a bit of a break from insanity back home–where their own grandmother has pitched a protest for decency outside the Hopeless-Savage house–upon landing a shady character plants a mysterious package in Arsenal’s bag. Intelligence officers and thugs alike are suddenly trailing the Hopeless Savage contingent all over the city. On top of that, the quartet visit the Lee brothers’ famous fortuneteller grandmother, hoping for blessings and good fortune but instead winding up with predictions of desertion and disaster. Add to all that a potential pregnancy, knife-wielding martial arts competitors, and the rest of the Hopeless-Savages clan’s surprise arrival in town, and you’ve got an action-packed, giggle-inducing comic that always shows its tender side. Intelligence stake-outs, bar fights in tuxedos, and romantic entanglements–was there ever really any doubt the Hopeless-Savages could handle it? Christine Norrie’s wonderfully expressive art is back in this volume, with inserts and a final chapter by Ross Campbell–I’m still biased to Norrie’s interpretation of the characters, but as usual Oni artists are a good lot. I can’t wait to see where the series will go from here.

Hopeless Savages, vol. 3: Too Much Hopeless Savages
ISBN: 1929998856
by Jen Van Meter, Christine Norrie, and Ross Campbell
Oni Press 2004

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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