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‘Username: Evie’ – Graphic Novel Review

That’s the trouble with rabbit holes; just anybody’s falling down them these days.

I recall high school being okay, though I know many people who had vastly different experiences than me.  Luckily, I was in the AV and Drama Clubs, so I was always with the cool kids, and now I write comic reviews . . . I’m so damn popular.  Yeah . . . so it can be a rough journey for kids who can’t quite find their niche, or lack the confidence to be on their own, and that’s what Joe Sugg explores in his first graphic novel, Username: Evie.  A young girl with an ailing father is having that awful high school experience, mostly at the hands of her cousin.  When her father succumbs to his illness, she stumbles on his last gift to her, a virtual world that imprints upon her, a world where she’s in charge, but something else enters the world and begins shaping it for itself.

This is a fun, 21st-century take on Alice in Wonderland, substituting a digital world more like the Matrix for the magical one in the Carrol tale.  Sometimes, we all need a place of escape to reacquire ourselves and our agency, to remember the power we have to shape the world by our choices and attitude, which can be easy to forget when bogged down by the weights of the world every day.  I enjoy the message of the story, and it’s plainly laid before you without getting terribly lost in metaphor or symbols.  It’s the kind of book that would be perfect for the age group that it covers, with an easy-to-identify-with protagonist and good pace; this is great for a wide audience.

There’s a lot to enjoy in the artwork; the splash pages are truly stunning and tend to be a little more peaceful and contemplative than the majority of work out there (at least at the beginning).  This is as much a journey of the inner world as the outer, and we get glimpses of both in the expressive and honest characters.  There’s great composition work; it’s always easy to follow the story even without the text, as each panel draws the eye through the tale in an effective way.  The palette is bright and bold, giving it a cartoony feel but with a depth of line work and perspective that belie a simplistic description.

This is a great book to remind you that reconnecting with yourself is the best thing when life’s troubles seem insurmountable, and for any age where that can happen.  There’s heart and adventure galore, and a finale that will uplift you from the melancholy trap that Sugg avoids with skill.  Check it out.

Share the stories that move you.

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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