(Words by Serena Valentino, art by Ted Naifeh Published quarterly by Slave Labor Graphics)
For those not in the know (probably the majority), "gloomcookie" is a term for a goth girl. So you might think that it would only be goths who might appreciate this little number, but you'd find yourself pleasantly surprised, as I can attest, myself.
From the cutie-pie-eyed Lex, to the ice queen Isabella, the characterisation is spot on. You'll cringe and smile, as you recognise people in the characters here, especially the fawning boys and bitchy girls in the strip Night Clubs Suck.
Ted Naifeh's artwork is nicely stylised, rendered in a smart black-and-white scheme that leaves your eyes begging for more, whilst Serena Valentino's sharp eye for character carries the somewhat short stories. Left with something of a cliffhanger at the end of issue one, this is something that is definitely worth returning to when the second issue comes out in September.
Only the second issue of this cute little number but already I feel fond of these characters. Even the bitchy Isabella has a tragic story to tell, and Serena Valentino's storytelling technique ensures I want to know more. The combination of magical fairytale and down-to-earth realism works to great effect -- eavesdropping over the girl talk on one page reminds me of many a night out with my own chums, and the strange carnival in another strip is enigmatic and fantastical, and yet both elements work very well together.
Not being part of the goth culture, some of the goth-culture clichés make me smile, but yet in the context of Gloomcookie I can see the appeal. This may also be down to Ted Naifeh's wonderful artwork, which I mentioned in my previous review. The covers indicate that, given the chance to work completely in colour, Naifeh would create a wonderfully gloomy yet luxuriant setting for these people, but his simple black-and-white art is lovely in itself.
I can't wait for the next issue (out in December) to see what the outcome of Isabella's party brings, and whether Sebastian ever gets to meet his father the ringmaster...
Website: http://www.gloomcookie.com Nice-looking site featuring online strips, gloomcookie recipes, cool links and other stuff
[Load time rating: *****. The strips are slower because of the pictures though]
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