REVIEW: How To Talk To Girls At Parties

At last!  It’s here!  A book that, if judging by cover and title, is going to help me and my geek and non geek brethren actually talk to that most dangerous of species.  Girls!

Now, as a married man, you may assume that I have some special skills in this area.  Rest assured, I am still as clueless as Enn, one of the two heroes who attempt to educate the rest of us.

Vic and Enn are a not so dynamic duo.  Vic is the ladies man, Enn is his shy wingman who spends his times at parties in the kitchen, far away from the madding crowd of the fairer sex.  Still, not ones to give up trying, the pair head off to Alison’s party only to waylay themselves at Stella’s bash instead.  From there, things take a metaphorical turn with clues being handed to the clueless with Vic fulfilling his role and Enn starting to realize his potential

Neil Gaiman is a superstar writer, with a huge following from across media.  His name is instantly recognisable and gives any story, book or comic an air of respectability.  This carries over into one shot’s like this.  Vic and Enn are believable characters who could be any one of us.  I know at that age, I was definitely Enn-like.  Of course the party is where all the fun begins.  Gaiman uses a twist in the tale to exaggerate the differences and confusions that can occur in that age-old tale of “boy meets girl, boy wants to talk to girl, boy has no idea what to do”.  Throughout the story, there are subtle touches that adds volumes to the environment and the various interactions.

This book is an adaptation of Gaiman’s short story from 2006, with adaptation duties falling to twins Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba whilst displaying their distinctive art stylings. Their work in this book is a prime example of how comics do not always have to be about superheroes.  From page one, the reader is engrossed, carried by Enn’s nervousness, believing his fledgling confidence to the start of his understanding.  The simplicity of the art belies the difficult manner by which we try to click with someone special.  The colors have a vivid quality with darker elements leading to bright conversations, matching the darkness of loneliness with contrasting colors of companionship.

The collaboration of the trio of creators provides a story that covers all the frailties of human interaction.  There is a certain sadness prevalent in the book; the sadness of experiences long gone for the girls, the sadness that maybe Vic is pretty much how Vic will be for the rest of his life.  Then there is Enn, who hears poetry, who listens and despite his best intentions, remains alone.  Still having been where Enn is, I think he will be fine.

Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars

Writer: Neil Gaiman
Artist: Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon
Cover Artist: Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon

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