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Teenagers from Mars Paperback – February 10, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gigantic Graphic Novels (February 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976303809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976303800
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,068,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mars is a typical small Southern town where bored, constrained teens kill time vandalizing things and robbing graves. These acts are delivered with the fearless bravado of people who think they have nothing to live for, but Spears shows the redeeming power of art and true love. The story's hero, Macon, is a comic artist who's just been fired from Mallmart for sassing his manager. He meets his punk dream girl, Madison, in the most un-cute way possible: she needs to use the bathroom while he's throwing up during a party. Drawn to each other's outsider status and anarchic tendencies, they find love while standing up to the mayor, who has shut down the local comic store, confiscated Macon's art and encouraged book burnings. Spears captures the frustrations and dreams of daily life while artist Rob G. beautifully realizes the variety of scenes that include such fresh set pieces as a party where everyone is made up like a zombie. The moody, cinematic art is manga-like in its simplicity and flow. The creators have an amazing ability to bring a sense of imagination to the mundane (in one example, G. enlivens a scene of characters watching a movie, interweaving the screen images, film dialogue and audience interjections). This is a coming-of-age love story bursting with memorable characters and scenes. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–Mars is a stereotypical small town with two strong factions: teens beginning to flex their vibrant sense of independence through zombie-themed parties, rock music, and comic books, and conservative adults who want to stem the kids' independence and fun. The story opens when Macon, a budding author and illustrator of comic books, gets fired from Mallmart for refusing to remove comic books from the display shelves. That night, he meets Madison, a beautiful and headstrong punk girl who seems capable of just about anything. Spurred on by her infectious energy and his frustration, the two take their revenge on Mallmart by knocking down a sign, breaking a few windows, and spray-painting their calling card across the outside wall: Comic Book Liberation Army. The townsfolk fear the worst, with the mayor leading the charge by closing down comic-book shops and confiscating collections from people's homes. Macon and Madison fight for their cause, defending the artwork and stories that they both enjoy. Although at times campy and over-the-top, the story tackles censorship in ways similar to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (Ballantine, 1953). Through methods of exaggeration and metaphor, Spears shows how easily irrational fears can drive a community to do terrible things. He does a particularly good job in showing how Macon and Madison's love for one another grows as they get deeper into trouble. The exaggerated poses, skewed angles, and dramatic expressions of Rob G.'s art work well with Macon's angst and excitement, as well as with the climax.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
The art and dialogue is fantastic.
M.J
Thereafter, well...you're going to have to read the book to find out how crazy things get.
Robert E. Davis
Do yourself a favor and buy this book right now.
Jason Vanveen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Davis on May 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! One of the most impressive collections I've read this year. I've never heard of the writer or artist before, but I will be looking for more by them. The book opens with a grave robbing by some young teens. How many books can be that provocative? The drawing and writing are very tight. The plot revolves around a joke, at first, perpetuated through an act of extreme vandalism and credited to the Comic Book Liberation Army. Thereafter, well...you're going to have to read the book to find out how crazy things get. Let's say it involves a one-legged police officer, a one-handed mayor, and a one-eyed female DA that together would make one good pirate. Finally, this is the kind of book that would have given Frederic Wertham a heart-attack or a hard-on depending on your point of view. Rated PG-13 for grave-robbing scene, some gruesome violence, teen sex and brief nudity. Buy this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Forgerelli on May 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was by far my favorite comic of the year last year. One of my all time favorites. I have a collection of 600+ graphic novels and about 10,000 comics and my girlfriend asked me to recommend one book to her out of my whole collection and this was the book I chose. I chose wisely. She loved it. I would give this book to the hardcore comic book reader as well as the "I've never read a comic before" reader. I can't recommend this book enough.

Really cool characters, especially a punk rock girl that I wish was real. Great story line about a struggling comic book artist vs. the 2 great evils of our society (walmart and stupid people). And the Comic Book Liberation Army. Just an absolutely great book.

Scott
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M.J on November 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I first got into Rick Spears by reading his latest 8 issue comic The Pirates of Coney Island. I feel instantly in love with the first issue and I eagerly await the next ones.

In the meantime I checked out his other books and when I picked this up the guy at the comic book store told me that it was almost a sin that I didn't already own it...

now I know why...

This is what comics are all about. Not only is it beautifully written but its true to life. The art and dialogue is fantastic.

What I love about this book is how one thing morphs into something else. What you see at first isn't always what it really is. The title for example. I'm sorry to say if you expecting a book about teenage aliens you'll be disappointed. But if you want something about anarchy, love, teen rebellion and the comic book liberation army, then BUY THIS.

All the negative reviews about this are wrong. It's a brilliantly written Graphic novel. I'm extremely picky about comics and I was very apprehensive about buying this, but I feel like kicking myself for even THINKING like that about this book.

It truly is a work of art and Rick Spears and Rob G. Deserve more credit then their given.

BUY THIS BOOK! I can't put into words how good this is!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Macon Chaplain on August 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
...and not just because the main character and I have the same name. (Although, admittedly, that IS why I picked it up in the first place...the cover of issue #1, some dude wearing a nametag with my name on it? C'mon, you woulda picked it up too!)

'Teenagers' seems tailor written for, that's right, teenagers. It's boiling over with angsty young love, DIY rebeliousness, a genuine fondness for youth culture (yes, ESPECIALLY the band and movie references), and a blatantly anti-authority attitude. I first read it as I was turning 30 but I immediately felt transported back to the ninth grade when I knew everything, when every adult was an idiot, when cigarettes were cool and punk rock was the only thing that mattered. For me, comic books are about escapism and TFM is escapist fiction at it's best: measured does of magical realism in a world where most any suburban adolescent can find something relatable, "Hey, that's MY life!" The art is aggressive and cinematic. The story is charming and strange. It may not be for everyone (intellectuals and snobs might want to stay clear) but anyone looking for a fun rock n' roll read will probably dig the Teenagers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jason Vanveen on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
You shouldn't listen to any of the negative reviews about this book for one simple reason.

They are not true.

This is one of my all time favorites, and i have been reading comics for about 13 or 14 years now.

It has great characters, an interesting and original plot, wonderful artwork, witty and unique humor, and references to tons of GREAT indie movies and bands.

In fact, i have turned many of my friends onto the comic book medium, just by lending them this comic.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book right now.

Don't think, just do it. I promise you will not regret your decision.

Oh yeah, one more thing.

Familiarize yourself with Rick Spears' name.

Your going to hear it again.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By montykupo on April 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best comics i have read. It sticks to a black and white format, otherwise the read is great, so is the art. I wish it was in hardcover tho.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By geoff27 on July 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Teenagers From Mars" is more concerned with impressing readers with its authors' coolness than it is with telling a story. I wish I could say that this is a compelling, exciting, dramatic book with tons of heart, but I can't, because I was too busy counting the innumerable band and movie references to notice any kind of actual solid quality.

Though it poses (loudly and irritatingly) as a daring, edgy expose on the censorship of comic books, this book is basically risk-free. The villains are cardboard, and the cause with which the reader is expected to sympathize is as thin as the pages it's printed on-- only a moron would disagree with "don't censor comics." This, in an age where the edgiest, bloodiest, sexiest "adult-oriented" comics regularly receive rounds of praise from mainstream publications such as Entertainment Weekly.

Yawn.

As an avid comic book reader of almost fifteen years, I am astounded at the number of gushingly positive reviews this book has received. It deserves none of them. "Teenagers From Mars" is little more than a rebellious pre-pubescent's masturbatory fantasy.
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