Monday, April 30, 2012

Graphic Novel - Take 2

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg


Noted young adult novelist Cecil Castellucci and artist Jim Rugg launch Minx with the Plain Janes, a story about four girls named Jane. When transfer student Jane is forced to move from the confines of Metro City to Suburbia, she thinks her life is over. But there is the lunch room at the reject table she finds her tribe: three other girls named Jane. Main Jane encourages them to form a secret art gang and paint the town P.L.A.I.N. - People Loving Art In Neighborhoods. But can art attacks really save the hell that is high school?

Graphic novel, take 2.

So I am probably never going to jump up and down squealing “the newest graphic novel just came in!” but I will admit that I liked this one far more than the first graphic novel I read. I actually liked it enough to contemplate checking out the rest of the series to see what happens.

In a confusing start, Jane (Main Jane) is injured in a bomb explosion in Metro City. Her parents freak out and move her to Suburbia. Jane’s time in Metro City before they moved (but after the explosion) was spent sitting at the bedside of a man who was injured next to her in the bombing. She has no idea who he is but he had a sketchbook. His art made Jane aware of how art affects people.

When Jane moves to Suburbia she meets the rest of the Janes, all “misfits” but she is clearly drawn to them. They begin creating art in common places, basically guerilla art attacks. The goal of P.L.A.I.N is to encourage the people of Suburbia to look at beauty in all things. In creating, Jane begins to heal. Jane convinces a boy from school to drive her to Metro City so she can go see her John Doe at the hospital. He is gone, but a nurse sees Jane, recognizes her and tells her the man’s name and that he has flown back to Poland, his home country.

Will Jane fly to Poland to see him? Will she finally have a boyfriend? Will P.L.A.I.N. continue or will the police find and shut them down? Well, I guess I will have to read the rest of the series to find out!


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Larissa said...

I read this book too after reading a graphic novel that was way out of my league and I will frank with you: The series does get better and more interesting. I read Plain Janes in Love and it has more depth then the first one.

I would suggest reading Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel which is another young adult graphic novel. Also, you might like Malice by Chris Wooding. It's not a graphic novel perse but it's a great mix of novel and graphics in it. You'll know what I mean if you pick it up. It's actually a great gateway book into graphic novels, but just my opinion.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Plain Janes is an interesting redo start. Thanks for the interesting post! I'll definitely keeps tabs on you and see how you're graphic novel journey goes. :)