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Ivy Hardcover – February 15, 2011
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Overall a very impressive debut that deserves more attention.
Now the people of Oleksyk's native Portland aren't the only ones to "ooh" and "ahh" at Ivy. Oni Press has brought together the five mini-comic issues into one hardcover book that finally presents this wonderful graphic novel to a larger audience.
Ivy is a coming-of-age story, following a small-town teenager living in Maine as she tries to escape and earn her freedom, even if she's not quite sure yet what that means. It's a genre that's been tapped many times before, but Oleksyk's work stands on its own. Ivy herself is, of course, angry, and you might even call her a bit of a bully. She's tough on her mom, her friends, and the people who want to be her friends, as well as on herself. A fight with her teacher results in her suspension. A fight with her mother comes to blows. She's on the verge of ruining her life before she really discovers what life is all about.
But even with her explosive anger, which often gets her into trouble, Ivy has some quiet, meditative moments (told wordlessly) that show us the spirit and soul of the artist.
Ivy's journey as she tries to figure herself and her life out is often funny, often devastating. There's pain, awkwardness, mistakes, regrets, joy--in other words, it's about being a teenager.
(By the way, the book may be about teenagers, but it may not be for them. There's some casual drug use, as well as some nudity and sex. In other words: teenagers.Read more ›