Thursday, November 04, 2010

In Review Of: True Loves by Turner & Botma

Just finished off True Loves by Jason Turner and Manien Botma, a sweet, predictable alterna-love story that i found at APE at the New Reliable Press table.

I mean, c'mon, who could resist such a charming and beautiful little cover like the one on the left?

I'm reminded that my wife continues to rent Romantic Comedies, when both of us know the plotlines, we know the resolution, so why go rent another? Because, occasionally, just occasionally, they do one that gets the little details correct along the way to the predictable finish. Somehow the writer will slip in enough clever lines that actually have some emotional resonance or interesting details and you find yourself sucked into the movie despite knowing that these two actors are not going to spend the rest of their lives deliriously in love.

True Loves fits that description to a "T". I knew where the plot was going from about page 4, but that was ok. Jason and Manien were doing a detailed true-to-life-in-Vancouver-in-your-20's story, and they sold me on these characters. True, Eliza, Dirk, Zander and Herb all ring note-perfect for who they are, what their characters do, how True and Zander end up falling for each other.

I mean, c'mon, we know that True and Zander will end up together, the question really how they'll get there. Its from that that we start to appreciate the book. Jason and Manien do an excellent job juggling their small cast of characters and making them stay true to themselves.

I think that much of the pacing stems from Jason's weekly schedule while originally putting the strips out. There is a pacing to it that is subtly different than it might have been had it just been done for a book. It keeps Jason from extending some scenes, which in turn keeps the action a little punchier. I think that it works to his advantage. The art definitely gets looser as the book goes on. The first few pages of True at the clothing store and at dinner with Dirk are much cleaner and tighter than the final pages of Zander shaking cherry blossoms all over True, but the looseness works and almost never intrudes on the storytelling. My one quibble: that Zander looks almost a little too happy, almost a little too stoned through out the story.

And, of course, now i have to go get True Loves 2 so that i can see where they went with the story from there. Cause, yeah, now i like these people and now i want to see where they go from here. And isn't that the best part? We all want characters to fall a little in love with from stories like these.

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