Thursday, September 28, 2006

12 Reasons Why I Love Her

Jamie S. Rich & Joelle Jones

12 Reasons Why I Love Her examines the relationship of a young couple out of chronological order. Twelve vignettes (a few of which are merely short illustrated poems) fit together very nicely to provide a full picture of their young love. Each of the characters have their faults and I'm not sure if Gwen being an icy bitch (but only during one or two stories) is a reason why Evan should love her, but it's all laid out, the good and the bad, like a real relationship that our couple has to actively work on.

Interestingly, the story begins with one character acting quite out-of-character from the rest of their appearances and shedding a pretty abysmal light on him. But as the vignettes progress, he's shown as a very intelligent, passionate person and we can see why these two fall for each other. The very last chapter is the story that tells of how the two actually met, giving the preceding chapters a sort of bitter-sweet feel, but it really does capture, in essence, what it feels like to look back on a relationship. You think of moments here and there, not in a chronological fashion. It's a very good idea to structure a romance in this way and I commend the artists for venturing to do so. It wouldn't be even close to as interesting of a story if it merely illustrated the couple's histroy from conception to climax.

The dialogue is really great. Gwen and Evan are my kind of people, into independent film, records and philosophy - very hipster. And the dialogue exchanged between the two is incredibly sharp, though maybe a little too polished to be classified as realistic. All-in-all, this was a really interesting examination of a relationship. While it didn't build toward a climax like a linear story, there was a certain amount of tension throughout as the missing links in their history were steadily revealed. My only real complaint is that a few of the smaller poetic chapters felt like filler, trying to articifically evoke the mood of say, autumn weather. It is a quieter sort of story, but one I think deserves a bit of praise. B+

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