Violets (Black Ocean Productions)
It's been a while since I've talked about the songs that pop into my head when I read something...but literally the whole time I was reading, or of my favorite songs from middle and high school (and I still listen to it today, to be honest) was playing in loop in my head. The classic Descendants bop just played over, and over, and over again, and I think it's mostly fitting as the storyline unfolds across the 68 pages of wonder.
I'm the One--The Descendants, Everything Sucks, 1996
Violets is driven by two primary characters: Alder (the man who is perpetually stuck in the friend zone) and Iris (the woman he is in love with, but she makes it more than clear they are just friends). After Alder pours his heart out to Iris over a cup of coffee, and it is evident by her reaction that she likes him, but not in the way he wishes. What unfolds over the next couple of pages are the five times across their lives together where Alder knew his love for Iris was different than anyone else. Then, we experience the five stages of relationship loss we can all relate to: Denial, Anger, and Depression, Depression, Depression.
Does he stay the course and attempt to slowly work his way out of the friend zone. Will he keep being a nice guy and hope and pray that Iris will finally fall in love with him naturally?
The emotional roller coaster we experience are the highs and lows of the newfound reciprocated love but suddenly Alder acknowledges something is off which takes us through a fascinating discussion of the morals and ethics of love and togetherness. The final half of the book really brings to the forefront a conversation long overdue about consent and the repercussions of forcing love to be reciprocated.
The art is quite good. The ability of the creative team to catch Alder and Iris' true feelings for one another in the opening panels. The embodiment of Alder's friend-zoning depression is reminiscent of myself at several times in my youth. The experience in the field of violets and the fake Iris is quite etherial. The moments of love and lust are as equally intense as the moments of discontent and rage. The work with the petals throughout some of the vertical spreads are creepily gorgeous. The connection between script and art is seriously on point.
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The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...
Rimmey is a high school history/government teacher & speech and debate coach in Kansas. He has slowly been rediscovering his love for comics since June of 2019.
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