Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Awakening

This 100 page black & white graphic novel is my first experience with Oni Press, and while I liked the overall presentation of this book, the story was definitely lacking. The art, however, was very good in some spots, but somewhat dodgy in other areas. It almost felt like this book was rushed or wasn't given a whole lot of thought before it was published and frankly, it definitely isn't worth the $9.95 cover price.

The back cover would lead you to believe that this story is about a schoolgirl who is granted the power to see the future, but this only comes to use in a couple of scenes and neither really does anything for the plot. What this story is really about is a series of murders at an all girls high school. What I found most amazing about this story was the complete lack of fear or suspicion from any of the students. As their classmates are being brutally slain, the remaining students simply go about their day as if nothing happens. Oh, actually they do make some changes to their routine--they feel sorry for the loss of their classmates for a bit before they go about their day.

Really, if there was a rash of murders in my area, especially if the target each time is someone from the same group I am a part of, I would be freaked out and would fear for my life. I wouldn't walk home alone (the girls here do). I wouldn't be upset at having police watching me and my house (one of the girls here doesn't like this concept). I wouldn't go out into my yard alone to investigate odd sounds (one of the girls here does so as if nothing was wrong). It's just ludicrous how utterly stupid everyone in this book is. It's like they're completely oblivious to the heinous murders around them.

As for the mystery of the murderer, that's another big sack of stupid and illogic. You have a detective and a monk type person investigating. The monk talks all secretive like and lurks around the murder scenes, which is just stupid, while the detective does his detective thing. I don't want to ruin the end, but let's just say who you'd guess the murderer is, it definitely is. As for how the detective solves the murder, well, he keeps getting packages from a nameless source that gives the identity of the murderer away. You don't know where these packages come from--they just appear. Thank God, though, because without them all the girls would end up dead instead of just most of them.

The art is just as hodge-podge. Some scenes are detailed and well illustrated, while others lack defined shading and seem like they were rough drafts. You don't know how frustrating it is to have an expertly drawn scene followed by a rough sketch, followed by a mediocre few frames, and then the cycle starts again.

Hopefully this experience with Oni Press won't scare me away permanently, but I will say that I am horribly unimpressed by this graphic novel and I'll be tossing it up on ebay as fast as I can, so if you really want to experience its sheer stupidity, go search ebay for "suckiest graphic novel ever"... err, I mean "The Awakening graphic novel".

Art: 2
Story: 1.5
Overall: 1.75

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