Monday, December 20, 2010

Koko Be Good

Jen Wang
Koko Be Good

First Second Books, 2010

In the center of this graphic novel are the three heroes. Jon Wilgur graduated from university, learns Spanish and plans to leave to Peru to his much older girlfriend to help orphans there. Koko is a reckless girl, with a head full of confusion and vacillation. She lives here and there and could not find a place in her life. The third character, Faron, is a loser who works in the cafe. At a party Koko makes scandal, robs her rivals, and then runs away, taking Jon’s recorder: it has message his girlfriend dictated to him. Jon and Koko unexpectedly meet in a cafe and he asks to give him what belongs to him. They start friendship, and Koko decides to start a new life and be good.

The book is much more interesting in watching images rather than follow for the plot. All three characters are so doubtful people think that you may choose any of them, but you hardly succeed to empathize with him. Koko’s path from roguish and brutal girl to good girl, helping the needy, is too tortuous to believe that Koko really wants to be good. In general the whole story, with all three storylines, is rather undistinguished to make the paper in that condition.

What a truly «good» in this novel, is that's how Jen Wang draws. She knows how to perfectly play the scene, where to show the hero in close-up, and the pages where the characters do not say anything even seem to be fragments of almost perfect comic book. Selected by the author, brown and green colors are successfully combined with the general mood of the novel: the sadness and doubt.

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