There have been quite a few series lately that focus on what mere mortals’ lives might be like in a world of superheroes, from Bendis’ and Rucka’s cop-centric Powers and Gotham Central to Kurt Busiek’s classic Marvels. As with all things Andi Watson, he takes a familiar idea and gives it his own light, romantic touch. Jack, a comics penciller working to retell a real-life superhero’s acts of bravery and heroism, is in a bad mood. Not only is his superhero, the Flamer, lacking for dramatic stories lately, but he’s also being hit with a paternity suit that has his public image hitting rock bottom. On top of that, Jack is less than suave with the ladies and is particularly paranoid about how he might compare to superheroes prime physiques – in a world of paragons, why would anyone want an ordinary guy? Then he meets Nora, a smart young woman who, wonder of wonders, likes him back. Of course, once love is looking possible, life starts hitting Jack with everything that could go wrong. Nora is not just a great girl next door, but also a reporter for the scandal mag that broke the story about the Flamer’s unclaimed son. She also seems a little too cozy with the Flamer himself, setting off all of Jack’s insecurities. On top of that, Jack’s cat Guthrie not only starts talking but gains superpowers, dons a costume, and joins the ranks of caped crusaders. Anyone who’s ever lived with a cat can just imagine the weirdness, never mind the snide commentary, that might well be voiced if your cat could talk and kick your butt. Watson is known for his romantic comedies, and this tale has the same bittersweet and everyday rhythm feel that makes all his work unique and endearing. His artwork remains intentionally rough around the edges and full of broad strokes, and it works its minimalistic magic in eloquent expressions and implied movement. A fine addition to any teen or adult collection.

Love Fights, vol. 1
By Andi Watson
ISBN: 9781929998869
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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