Next Exit Volume 1

This graphic novel is a cyber-punk fantasy where reality, magic and memory mesh (and can be manipulated). The storyline moves quickly and easily and you can finish it in about an hour.

It is compulsive reading, and I did like it, but it’s too cute at times. When, where, why, and how did everything turn into anime/manga? Am I the only one that thinks Astroboy sucked? I am sick to death of pointy chins, big round eyes, wafer-thin bodies and kitty-cats. It is drawn well, and if you like the style you may like this. However, despite some death-violence-swearing, I feel like this should be read by too cute teenage girls. The issue where the two main characters are trapped in “Memento Forest” and they are confronted by their pasts is a bit too clich├ęd or contrived. Trapped in memory? Battling your inner demons? Been done. Still, there are enough hints at relationships and secret lives to keep you going. I like the world of alchemists and fantasy creatures, but it just doesn’t have teeth. It’s funny at times too (but funny in a cute way). Perhaps Christy Lejewski’s work will improve in the future–this is promising. In short, good but too cute–not meant for grumpy old men (and if you want something tougher, go reread Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan). (Mitch Adams)

Graphic Novel, 168 pgs, by Christy Lijewski, $12.95, SLG Publishing, PO Box 26427, San Jose, California, 95113, slavelabor.com

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