Confessions of a Blabbermouth (DC Comics/Minx)

blab-header.jpgX-Men scribe Mike Carey teams up with his daughter Louise for this hip tale of a teen whose biggest competition is the daughter of her mom’s new boyfriend.

 

176 pgs. B&W; $9.99

(W: Mike and Louise Carey; A: Aaron Alexovitch)

Imagine Spider Jerusalem as a teenage girl. It may sound frightening, but Tasha Flanigan manages to be just as cynical and outspoken as Transmetropolitian‘s crazed protagonist while also being an adorable British schoolgirl. Her blog, Blabbermouth, gets 2,000 unique hits a month. Tasha is the school’s only celebrity journalist—that is until her mom starts dating a skeezy single dad named Jed. Jed’s daughter Chloe is weird and stuck-up, and to add insult to injury she has her own newspaper column! How can Tasha compete with this new intruder at school and at home?

 

Co-written by the brilliant Mike Carey (Lucifer, Hellblazer) and his teenage daughter Louise, Confessions of a Blabbermouth is a perfect addition to DC’s Minx imprint. It’s hip and edgy and modern, but is still at its core a wholesome coming-of-age story. And unlike much of the fiction aimed at teens, this book never talks down to the reader. Tasha and Chloe are believably adolescent—not caricatures of perfect kids, but recognizable humans with flaws and failures.

 

The cover to Confessions of a Blabbermouth. Click thumbnail for a larger image.Too often, parents in young adult literature are either melodramatically abusive or one-dimensionally supportive. Tasha’s mom dates, yells at Tasha occasionally, and owns a company that sells lingerie. Her boyfriend Jed seems almost sinister at times, but is basically just a schmuck. Both of them love their children and are just trying to be good parents. This approach to creating a family that readers can believe in will appeal to adult readers, not just to the kids the book is aimed at.

 

The story of Blabbermouth is as well crafted and enjoyable as its characters; Tasha fights the usual high school battles of bullies, boyfriends, and backstabbing while dealing with a huge and unwelcome adjustment at home. Chloe and Jed also seem to be hiding a dark secret, which Tasha can’t help but get caught up in when the new family takes a vacation to the Grand Canyon. Readers will be pleased to see Tasha through to the story’s satisfying resolution, which is thankfully not too saccharine but still leaves one with a fuzzy feeling.

 

Illustrator Aaron Alexovich is a good match for the too-cool-for-school feel of Confessions of a Blabbermouth. His art calls to mind a tamed Jhonen Vasquez, which makes sense considering he contributed character designs for Vasquez’s much-beloved Invader Zim cartoon. Zim and Blabbermouth will probably draw a similar audience, so many readers will probably find Alexovich’s other work to be of interest as well.

 

A great story, cool characters with fantastic art, and a refreshing approach to the young adult genre make Mike and Louise Carey’s Confessions of a Blabbermouth a definite must-read for the younger female comics fan, and a should-read for everyone else. If the fledgling Minx imprint can get a creative team this talented for each of their books, they really will revolutionize comics for teens. | Elizabeth Bolhafner

 

Check out a 7-page preview of Confessions of a Blabbermouth at http://www.dccomics.com/minx/teaser.php

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