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Book Review < Back


Credits: Written and Illustrated by Christine Norrie
Publisher: Oni Press


A woman has an affair.

In 64 pages, Christine Norrie presents the people and circumstances involved clearly and concisely and without imposing judgment within the narrative. It's sincere, unpretentious storytelling, credible and heartbreaking; a complex emotional drama played out in an uncomplicated manner. It's the story of Janey doing to Marc the one thing she promised she wouldn't.

It begins in their new apartment. Unpacking and celebrating and the first hints of trouble. Resentments. Marc resents Janey for celebrating while he still has to work. Janey resents Marc for constantly working. Norrie shows us how good she is by not showing us too much. The scope is perfect; we don't have to wade through 15 pages establishing the good times before we get to the bad. It's all there. Relationships are like holograms, with the whole in every part. (Norrie knows that affection and bitterness can coexist and she portrays the two so well I'm inspired to send her chocolates. I won't - because that would be weird. But I thought about it.)

Janey turns to Davis slowly. He's a friend, and married. Safe. There's nothing wrong with turning to friends. And then, there is. She didn't do anything wrong until she did. Now it's crystal clear - a mistake borne of pettiness, a betrayal. How do you make that go away? Worse, how do you go on vacation with your husband, the man who made him a cuckold and your co-conspirator's wife?

CHEAT is a simple tale, well-told. There is not a higher compliment I can pay without involving grants and foundations.

-- Kelly Sue DeConnick

Kelly Sue DeConnick relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Kansas City, MO, where she lives with her husband and artbomb.net colleague, Matt Fraction. Kelly Sue writes the English adaptations of several manga titles published by Tokyopop and Viz. She can be found on the web at kellysue.com.


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