Friday, May 30, 2008

Amelia Totally Rules!

I first came into contact with the comic Amelia Rules!, a few years back, probably via exposure to it at a Free Comic Book Day event (a totally great way to discover what’s out there that you aren’t currently reading, by the way). Anyway, Amelia is a nine-year-old girl, who is the creation of author/illustrator Jimmy Gownley. Launched in 2001, Amelia has been something of a media darling for obvious reasons.

Gownley’s witting and illustrations are infectious, as he weaves us through not so much what is actually happening to young Amelia, but her perceptions of what is going on around her. Yes, Amelia narrates her own life, and we get to see the world from her perspective. Needless to say, this obviously makes for interesting reading, as Amelia’s life is full of ninjas, superheroes, funnybooks, friendships, and well, “girl stuff.” Well, you might wonder how a 30something male cartoonist can write about what goes on in the mind (and world) of a nine-year-old girl, but he does so in a way that is totally believable, and wildly entertaining.

This year, as in the past, I acquired a copy of Gownley’s wonderful comic about Amelia (wisely, Gownley has been part of FCBD for a number of years), and, once again it was a delight to read. What struck me the most about this years FCBD story is that, without actually saying it, the story revolved around one of Amelia’s young friends anguish about the fact that her father (who is in the military) is being deployed to Iraq (To be sure,where he is going is never actually mentioned by name, but it is fairly obvious by the context of the story). The story is handled with grace, humor, and pathos giving us what it truly must be like for a young child who is old enough to understand the consequences of what is going on without delving into the politics of the whole thing.

If you have never read Amelia Rules!, then this is the story that you must seek out and acquire, for it will convert you to being a fan. Personally, after reading this issue, I passed it along to both my wife, and my 13-year-old daughter to read. I believe that this really is the kind of comic that will attract people who don’t normally read comics into the fold. For whatever reason, the industry doesn’t seem to produce enough of these types of comics, and it really should.

Everyone seems to want to produce the kinds of comics that are already being produced, and what we wind up with is more of the same. Amelia Rules! is like no other comic I’ve ever read. it is bright, funny, endearing, and well, quite entertaining. A breath of fresh air in an industry that is used to eating its own young. If there were more comics like Amelia Rules! I believe that there would be more fans in this industry.


Reggie White Jr. said...

Couldn't agree more, Bob. I got exposed to this book thanks to this years FCBD and I loved it!

doc said...

hey this is doc from the itunes podcast: Heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy, FCBD interview. Episode 23 features an interview with Joe Field founder of Free Comic Book Day. The interview runs about 15 mins. voicemail 1-206-333-1297

Robert J. Sodaro said...

Thanks for dropping by, Doc, We love FCBD here, so anyone that supports it is a friend of ours!

In fact, the guy I purchase my comics from was on his honeymoon this week, so there were no comics sorted and pulled, hence no comics ‘til next week when he gets back. The fact that I’m still pulling through my stack of FCBD comics is the only thing that is keep me from slipping into withdrawal.

Tommy said...

Now, I've just remembered another character after reading this: Amelia Bedelia.

The flashbacks!!!

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