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Customer Review

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Forceless "Female", December 9, 2009
This review is from: Female Force: Stephenie Meyer: A Graphic Novel (Paperback)
Let's be honest here: Stephenie Meyer has had a pretty boring life. She basically got married, had kids, and wrote a fantasy series about sparkly vampires.

So needless to say -- with no scandals, divorces, addictions, adventures or the like -- "Female Force Bestsellers: Stephenie Meyer" is a pretty boring experience. But it's not just boring. It's surreally bad and poorly done, with ghastly art, a breathlessly dramatic style and a horrendously contrived framing device wrapped around a thoroughly unexciting life story.

According to the author Ryan Burton, Meyer was an oh-so-special and down-to-earth girl ("It seemed as though every OTHER girl was... DIFFERENT"), and of course way smarter than her peers (both in high school and college, she alone is raising her hand). She went to Brigham Young University in Utah, and a spider got eaten by a vampire. Whoops, that was the framing narrative, so forget about that.

Anyway, she met some guy she had once shared a sandbox with, and they got married in less than a year. Three kids later, Stephenie had a dream about spying on a thuggish-looking vampire trying to make out with some blonde chick in a field (and she frankly looks like a dream voyeur spying on teenagers). She constructed a story around that dream, and ended up selling it -- and of course, it became a megahit and was adapted into a movie, took the world by storm, blah blah blah.

Because the unadorned life story of Meyer would take up about five pages, Burton frames it: A shark-mouthed Dracula living in a cliche Transylvanian castle (complete with graveyard and howling wolf), who is apparently telling Meyer's life story to a gang of grunting naked nosferatu. Not only is this hilariously cheesy, but it provides the unintentional message that Meyer is carrying out the will of evil monsters.

The biography oozes along at a glacial pace, with two whole pages devoted to shopping the manuscript around. The most mundane facts are written in a breathlessly melodramatic style ("Stephenie was 21 when she married Christian... also known as PANCHO") with lots of details that only her most fanatical fans would care about (who cares where the name "Stephenie" came from?). There's even a transparent attempt to equate Meyer with her self-insert Bella Swan (oh, how different and smart she is!).

And the artwork is simply ghastly -- Meyers has an evil grin, sinister eyebrows, freakishly tiny hands, and she looks EXACTLY the same from the age of four onward. Her husband's head looks like a mediocre Picasso work, and the Twilight fans appear to be a bunch of large-breasted grannies, mad-eyed adolescents and... coffee shop singers? And as the final hilarious conceit, it's sprinkled with topographic maps, and a bizarre page in which UTAH appears in the palm of Meyer's hand.

In short, the art makes the entire comic seem like a Stephenie Meyers acid trip. The funniest part is that they don't even get Meyer's characters right -- both Bella and Edward are washed-out blondes with wormlike lips, and Edward has spiky little fangs. Wha?

There's also a very halfhearted little add-on about the history of Forks, Washington... but frankly it's dead boring. Protections for endangered salmon? A steam engine? A fire in 1951? Not exactly thrilling, and it's all rendered in old photographs with bad photoshopping.

"Female Force Bestellers: Stephenie Meyer" reads like a bad drug trip, with spider-chomping vampires, horrendous art and lots of surreal extras. Good for a laugh, but nothing else.
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