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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
You might expect a book, about a young evangelist who preaches abstinence, to just ruthless trash Christianity. And surprisingly, it doesn't do that. Instead, this book is a character study on what happens when someone's deeply held convictions get turned on their ear by circumstances well beyond his control.

It's well written, well drawn, and unless your someone who gets offended by the thought that maybe the Bible can't be the answer to everything (or lots of drawn breasts), you will enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Here is the story of Adam Chamberlain, a passionate youth Evangelist preacher who believes in destiny, true love, & saving oneself for their destined true love. & Adam has found his own destined true love in Cassandra, a sweet girl who is currently away working for the Peace Corps in Africa. But Adam can't deny it: he's young, he's horny, & he can't wait until their wedding day. But their wedding day shall never come, as Cassandra is kidnapped & slaughtered by a mysterious group of terrorists. & Adam finds himself consumed in grief & confusion & thirsting for ice-cold, immoral revenge.

This fragile situation & Adam's damaged emotions are handled with maturity & depth. As a starting note---before any grim tragedies---Adam is a likable Evangelist. He preaches without being preachy. He's honest & true & never condescending as I feared he may have been (we all know how outrageous some religious folks can get & how biased some literature can be). He gently explains the good within Christianity's laws & why he believes in them so strongly. But Adam soon finds his foundation crumbling. Cassandra was his destined true love---his only true love, the only one he could ever be with---& she was butchered in cold blood like live-stock. Will Adam forever be alone (& subsequently a virgin)? Will Adam seek sweet, violent revenge? Will he turn his back on his powerful morals in his rage & loneliness? These are some genuinely intriguing questions & they are given some genuinely intriguing answers. & American Virgin proves to be a truly compelling character-study.

As for the art, I'm not much of a fan for it. It seems almost sloppy, with dull colors, but it does its job in conveying emotion well enough. The covers on the other hand are superb. The first few bear an enchanting strangeness, & Joshua Middleton's are lush & beautiful eye candy.

Overall, American Virgin is one of the most thoughtful, endearing narratives (graphic or written) that I've read in a long while, & if you long for rich characterizations in your stories you should give it a hearty try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Book's presentation is nice, glossy cover, full color pages. Illustrations are great, story is very interesting.
Other than what i first thought, each book of American Virgin is a sucession of the previous. If I had known this before i would have purchased more than one at the time in order to avoid the annoying waiting in between chapters.
Head has 4 chapters, and also includes extra interviews with the comic's characters, and also writters and artists.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Vertigo launches another series. As with most Vertigo series, it reads better in trades then issues. The debut is good but not great, solid storytelling but not exceptional.

In terms of classification, this series is remarkably difficult to put in a single genre of any kind. It doesn't really have the same kind of high concept that a lot of the new Vertigo series do.

The first issue of the series is amazing. After that, the other three issues in the arc seem to lack focus.

The main character of Adam Chamberlain is quite fascinating. It will probably come as a breath of fresh air to many Christians (note that this is coming from someone who has been an agnostic for the better part of a decade) that he doesn't come off as a judgmental bible thumping lunatic. However, in not presenting this side of the American Evangelical movement in depth enough (a passing mention from his "remarkably like Paul and Jan Crouch" parents aside), the series weakens itself at the start. As the story arc goes on, Adam ends up a much less clear person. The good side of this would be that he shows the ambiguity of every person, the bad side is that he does seem muddled at times.

Seagle's story is not exceptional. Coming from the guy who co-wrote Sandman Mystery Theatre and who wrote House of Secrets, It's a Bird and a very underrated Superman run, it is a bit disappointing.

Becky Cloonan's art steals the show. It brings out the nuance of character while not getting in to the flashiness of a lot of other comic artists. Her art is one of the shining stars of Vertigo right now

However, for ten dollars you could do a lot worse. So it gets a recommendation if you have the extra money.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Youth minister Adam Chamberlain, founder of the "national virginity movement," thinks God speaks to him. Slinging trite platitudes in midair from the saddle of his BMX bike, Adam effortlessly converts the sinfully slutty. He's not selling Jesus so much as abstinence. Even though God has fixed up Adam with a totally hot girlfriend, he's going to keep it in his relaxed-fit jeans. Adam's going to wait for sex until Cassie returns from her noble Peace Corps work in Africa and they're married. And he wants the rest of the world to sign a pledge to wait along with him. Then Cassie is abducted by terrorists and beheaded. Adam, stunned and horny, his faith shaken, can't believe God allowed terrorists to wreck his wedding plans. He hops a flight to Africa to hunt down his girl's killers and recover her head. (He just wants some head. Ha, get it? Yes, that's what passes for wit in this book.) No doubt in later volumes detailing Adam's spiritual quest, he'll discover that sex is natural and fun or some other stunning revelation. Author Steven Seagle obviously watches far too much boob tube (Awwright, pun intended, I suppose). Nothing in his writing is grounded in any kind of credible, relatable reality. He bases every story element on the crappiest of garbage media. He gets his idea of Christianity from the worst excesses of televangelism mixed with Oprahfied touchy-feelies. He gets his idea of youth culture from Empty Vee. He gets his idea of an action sequence from the endlessly recycled tropes of Jerry Bruckheimer and his ilk (Try smashing a car window out with your elbow and tell me which breaks first. Oh and hey, it's our old friend the callous TV reporter who gets punched in the nose!) Seagle's storytelling partner, Becky Cloonan, gets her idea of art from Paul Pope. Her extremely unappealing work is lawsuit-level derivative. The covers by the masterful Frank Quitely (who wisely abandoned ship after three issues) serve only to emphasize the deficiencies within. His illustrations are all that elevates the book from a zero-star rating. Everything about "Virgin" screams of trying way too hard to be hip and cutting-edge, right down to the author photo with deebag chinnychinchin beard. In terms the childishly prurient-minded Seagle might appreciate: This blows.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I grew up in Church culture and still has faith in God and I have to say really liked even loved this book. It a beautiful discussion about commonly accepted dogma(s). Tho I found some of the character's behaviour a little odd like the mother's reaction to the death of here son's girlfriend even if she was that horrible of a person in the Church she wouldn't have been so blunt but way moor manipulative. That's a small point nothing to get hung up on. Especially since the art's so great.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
I think this is the best Vertigo debut since Y the Last Man, and Sandman before that. I cannot recommend this book enough. Cloonan's art is beautifully married with Seagle's characterizations. Best series I've read in a long time.
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