From Publishers Weekly
It's been four years since Robinson's Box Office Poison
won an Eisner Award, as well as the prize for best debut graphic novel at the international festival in Angoulême. It's been a long wait, but Tricked
is well worth it. This dense graphic novel follows the paths of six characters who weave around one another, all finally meeting in the story's violent climax. The six are Ray Beam, a blocked and exhausted rock star; Nick, a small-time grifter; Phoebe, a daughter in search of her father; Steve, the very worst kind of music fan; Lily, a young girl drawn into Ray's artistic drama; and Caprice, a self-defeating waitress. Before the final meeting, each leads a fully realized life, whose detailed individuality and complex relationships mark Robinson as a truly gifted writer. His art is no less impressive, with clear line drawings that hone in on the subtleties of his characters' emotional lives. A master of the slice-of-life indie comic genre, Robinson brings a strong dramatic force to his work as well. Robinson's talent allows his characters to be comprehensible even when they act like spoiled jerks or sabotage their own chances for happiness—but his authorial generosity returns them all to their own best selves by the end. (Aug.)
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A creatively blocked rock star, a signature--forging memorabilia-shop clerk, a teenager seeking the father she has never known, a functional schizophrenic not taking his meds, a waitress suffering from her latest breakup, and a pretty Latina doing temp work eventually converge for a violent climax. Before then, some cross paths and more as Robinson again displays the character- and relationship-development skills that, along with his assured, lightly caricatural draftsmanship, made Box Office Poison
(2001) and BOP!
(2003) so absorbing and satisfying. The Latina meets the rock star and unblocks him. The teenager finds Dad and is befriended by the waitress, who, though now with the best man ever, starts seeing the forger on the side. Meanwhile, the schizophrenic gets weirder. Inspired plotwise, it seems, by The Bridge of San Luis Rey
and the twenty-fifth anniversary of John Lennon's murder, Robinson excels at less-than-transparent personae whose adventures he skips among in chapters presented in a countdown, 49 to 1, that bolsters the story's inherent suspense. He should be a novelist; wait a minute--he is. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved