November 01, 2007

Art Saves

This book is a 2007 Graphic Novel Cybils Award Nominee.

Cecil Castellucci has a knack for endearingly smart-mouthed, highly individual and creative characters, and her first graphic novel, The Plain Janes--illustrated in a clean, contemporary black-and-white style by Jim Rugg--is no exception. "Main Jane," the main character, has just moved to a new school and changed her whole image and outlook on life after suffering a traumatic incident. Though she doesn't feel like she fits in with the popular crowd any more, she doesn't seem to fit well anywhere else, either.

When she sees the table of other mismatched, quirky "Janes" at lunch, she thinks she's finally found her niche; but unfortunately, they start off skeptical and aloof. Jane decides to try to win them over with her brilliant plan for a secret club. The P.L.A.I.N. (People Loving Art In Neighborhoods) Janes would create undercover art "attacks" throughout the town, livening up the neighborhood and bringing a smile to people's faces. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks the art attacks are a laughing matter. A fun but also thought-provoking book, The Plain Janes should appeal to a wide audience beyond simply comics fans.

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