Why you should go read Spider-man Loves Mary Jane.

May 15, 2008 at 11:18 pm Leave a comment

Ok. So I am still blogging here because, of course I am.

and I am here to tell you to go read Spider-man Loves Mary Jane.

No, it is not a PSA about drug abuse. Yes, it is similar in plot and art style to a shoujo manga. But that’s kind of what makes it great. it’s a whole new perspective on the whole spider-man story, stylistically and thematically. Mary Jane isn’t a superhero. But she is a really good friend and a really cool person.

The basic premise? Mary Jane Watson really likes Spiderman. And is the most popular girl in school. Not in the Regina George, Gossip Girl kind of way, but in the genuinely nice to everyone kind of way. And she has all kinds of high school drama.

So there’s like, highschool angst and then spiderman fighting crime on the sidelines. A reversal of regular spiderman. It probably should be boring, but it’s not. This book makes MJ a character that’s really likeable, and is way more than some damsel in distress, waiting around for the action to start. She’s got her own thing going on, and if anything Spiderman is kind of ruining things. I mean, it’s not exactly cool to be crushing on a superhero. Plus she is so genuinely sweet and tries really hard to be a good friend. It’s hard not to cheer for her. There was one storyline about her past that seemed to be handled kind of oddly, but generally she’s a really sympathetic character. 

And of course, Peter himself is pretty adorable. He doesn’t even show up that much at first, which I found hilarious. He kind of just popped up to say hi all excitedly once in a while.

The writing is pretty funny. Of course it has to detour into relationship drama, but sometimes it’s really, really funny. Take this page, in which Gwen Stacy recounts a fight between Spidey and the supervillian of the week:

 

The art is also usually really good for the kind of story it is, even if the artists they’ve got doing flashbacks got on my nerves. Takeshi Miyazawa’s slightly manga-like style works really well for this kind of story. For one thing, he doesn’t seem to be imitating the style of manga, but drawing in a manner inspired by it organically. And SMLMJ isn’t the typical superhero comic, so the manga-esque style kind of works. It’s like being in a slightly different language.

The new artist, who started after Miyazawa left is a little less obviously manga-styled. He started out looking like he was trying to make his stuff look more like Miyazawa’s, and it wasn’t working that well. After a few issues he’s started to get more comfortable, and I really like what he’s doing. It’s all in the little things:

because of course the tag on Peter’s shirt sticks out. and it does that thoughout the entire issue. I like that they thought of this, and that they followed through on it on every drawing they did of him in this issue.

and the colorist is pretty rad, I thought, especially for the whole pink-cheeked and breath-coming-out-of-their-mouth scene here:

I really, really appreciate that this comic has got a flat coloring style, instead of that faux-realism stuff they sometimes try for. It really works well in here. They colors they pick work well together, too. It’s really pretty to look at.

Plus I think it’s adorable that Peter looks like old-school Peter with the new artist.

So basically, if you don’t mind your superhero comic focusing more on the everyday teenager side of life, and more on Mary Jane and Peter Parker than on Spider-man fighting bad guys, go for it. Seriously. It’s adorable.

 It was also one of the random first comics I read when I thought I should try some mainstream western comics, (along with runaways, which is also awesome) so I guess I have a soft spot for it.

 

in other news? me and rel are trying to prepare something to sell at animenext. pray for us.

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Doodlefest! 100 Views of Edo….online.

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