Friday, September 11, 2009

_Janes in Love_ by Cecil Castelluci and Jim Rugg

Janes in Love is the second volume of The P.L.A.I.N. Janes, a comic about a high school girl who is forcibly moved to Podunkville, USA after she survives a terrorist bombing in New York City.

As her mother gets more scared, Jane turns her despair over leaving the vibrant city into a crusade to bring art to the town. The guerrilla art group she forms with several other girls named Jane at her school becomes her lifeline.

It's a great premise, and the main Jane's problems seem real. The antagonist, the police chief who wants to stamp out their art as vandalism, is obnoxious but not over-the-top. The girls' fight-for-art seems real and important and not highbrow, perhaps because it is anchored in Jane's desperation in her new locale, or because her parent's and the police chief's antagonism is realistic, or because the group of Janes, as characters, are established nicely as a cooperative of dreamers.


In this volume, her Mom gets worse, refusing to leave the house, while the Janes turn from guerrilla art to try to go legit. Also, they discover boys. Nothing beats the moment when the most athletic Jane, after listening to the other girls talk about the boys they long for, walks right up to a basketball player and tells him he's now her boyfriend and they will be making out after school.

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