First, I apologise for the hiatus from these reviews. Between a week of preparing for my trip to New York, a week of me being in New York, and then just being tired and lazy the week after I got home, I’ve just fallen behind in reading and reviewing the ever-building queue of creator-owned comics. But I’m trying to get back in the saddle now!
Now, issue #0s are a tricky thing. There are occasions where it works well. I remember issue #0s as free supplements that were included in Wizard Magazine as a taster for upcoming new titles, which worked quite well. I think they can work well on Free Comic Book Day, again as tasters for upcoming titles, with Super Dinosaur #0 jumping out as a recent example. A couple of the onslaught of DC New 52 titles that engaged in #0 month back in September did something clever with the gimmick. But I often find the trend of “#0″ in the context of the indy comics market a bit problematic. It’s often taken as just a dry run for issue #1, with a smaller page count. I don’t really like this trend. It feels like it’s content that could make up an issue #1, but less of it, and any issue #1 that follows becomes like an issue #2. I’d rather creators waited until they were able to put out a full issue #1, put their best foot forward.
I think Geek-Girl #0 from writer Sam Johnson, last featured here for his solid work on Avengers parody The Almighties, and artist Sally Stone-Thompson. It’s a fun concept: popular girl gets superpowers from glasses that, as a side effect, give her the appearance and traits of a klutzy nerd. But at 12 pages, there just isn’t enough of it. I’d rather have had Geek-Girl #1 with an additional 8-12 pages of story, which might have given us a stronger hook to keep reading and a deeper attachment to Ruby and her world.
But there is potential here for something interesting. I enjoyed the character dynamics when Ruby goes to the club with her vapid “it-girl” clique and finds she doesn’t really fit in with them anymore, and the introduction of an antagonist into the story in the closing page adds a nice note of menace to the light-hearted proceedings. With the capable introduction demonstrated here, I’d be curious to see what Geek-Girl #1 would look like moving forward.
I quite like Sally Stone-Thompson’s art. It has a bit of a manga vibe going for it. But I think it really needs colour. That front cover looks cracking. But the interiors look a bit flat in comparison. I don’t think comics in general need to be coloured, but there’s something about the superhero genre in particular that benefits greatly from the richness added by a pallette of colour.
So, a bit of a slight debut for Geek-Girl, but there’s still enough here to like from Sam Johnson and Sally Stone-Thompson to warm me to the concept. If this issue #0 is a dry run, then perhaps it sets the stage for a Geek-Girl #1 that will prove to be more impressive.
Artist: Sally Stone-Thompson
Letterers: Jaymes Reed, Kris Johnson
Publisher: Actuality Press
Synopsis: When ‘Little Miss Popular’ Ruby Kaye lands a pair of super-tech glasses (invented by brainiac college geek Trevor Goldstein) in a game of Strip Poker, she’s granted flight, super-strength, and – due to a flaw in the glasses’ programming – super-klutziness!
Geek-Girl #0 is available to buy from Sam Johnson’s website.