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Book Review < Back

Queen of the Black Black

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Megan Kelso
Publisher: Highwater Books


In her introduction, Megan Kelso explains that this book is a short story collection of her early work and that she hopes you bare with her as she continues to make comics and improve on her craft. Which is quite amusing as QUEEN OF THE BLACK BLACK is one of the most charming, thoughtful and provocative collections I've read in quite awhile.

QUEEN OF THE BLACK BLACK presents thirteen stories, a couple of them appearing here for the first time, many of them from her self-published Girlhero comics. While some of these stories may draw upon autobiographical experiences, most of them are simply slices of life. Kelso's characters are widely diverse -- from bike messengers to musicians to office temps to fantastical artichoke people. These are stories about frustration and lust and music and loneliness. The story arrangement is also excellent -- they're not simply presented in the order that they were originally crafted, but in a fashion that makes for a better reading experience.

By the time you get done with this book, you'll have run a full gamut of poignant life experiences. Personally, I wanted to call Megan up and give her a hug. Especially after that last one about her father's life-long secret and his... but that would be telling. You're going to have to read the book for yourself.

-- Peter Aaron Rose

Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.


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