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Gingerbread Girl Paperback – July 5, 2011
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About the Author
Paul Tobin is a New York Times bestselling author. His writing includes Bandette; Colder; The Genius Factor series; as well as many other comic books and works of fiction.
Bandette, drawn by Colleen Coover, was awarded the Eisner Award for Best Digital Series in 2013 and 2016; it was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award for Graphic Literature in 2016. Paul’s graphic novel I Was the Cat, created with artist Benjamin Dewey, was nominated for an Eisner in 2015. Colder, the horror comic he created with artist Juan Ferreyra, was also nominated that same year. Paul's comic book adaptations of other media include Plants Vs. Zombies, Angry Birds Comics, and The Witcher.
Top customer reviews
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This is the story of Annahnette (Annah) Billips...who may or may not have a missing sister. But there are plenty of things that we do know for sure about her. She dates both boys and girls (she really likes Afros), she's 27 years old, like sushi, hates beer breath...and oh yeah her parent's divorced when she was 9. Annah says that her mad scientist father extracted part of her brain, the part that deals with emotions, and great it into a twin sister. In this novel multiple narrators introduce us to who Annah is as we follow her through the city one night on a date.
I love how this story is told. Its just such a unique way of introducing the main character, the various elements of her life, and what we should know about her. The fact that it's presented by multiple different narrators allows us to see Annah from different perspectives and how different people view her and what she says is her life story. It's almost like piecing together a mystery, does she really have a sister? And I love that we never really get told whether she does or not, but the writers present us evidence on both sides so we get to form our own conclusion. Even better for me, is that although its a short book I feel like I know the characters, even the supporting ones that don't really say much. They say enough that you can recognize them as that guy that you know down the block or that waitress that you keep trying to flirt with. The authors do a fantastic job of building the characters so that we feel like we know them. And the story flows smoothly never missing a beat.
I love the artwork in this book. It reminds me a lot of the style that Craig Thompson uses in his book "Blankets." It's a nice flowing line, with good detail in the background without being overwhelming. And they capture the human form so well! I can just picture the people in real life and seeing them because that's how they move. It helps make the characters feel like real people. And the layout of the book is absolutely fantastic and really helps the story flow.
I cannot say enough good things about this book and I'm just completely blown away by the storytelling and the artwork in it. I give it 5 stars out of 5 and highly, highly recommend it. It's picks up for the 20/30 generation where Scott Pilgrim left off.
During this slim graphic novel, different people (and animals!) narrate the story and tell us more about Annah. This switching of narration is odd, but it's also interesting. We get the most information from Annah's date, a woman by the name of "Chili." According to her, Annah believes her father peeled out a part of her brain related to the sense of touch. Her father then took this part of her brain, and, mad-scientist-like, created a new person with it. That would be Annah's "sister," Ginger.
Around the same time this supposedly happened, Annah's parents divorced. It seems more likely than "Ginger" was created out of Annah's imagination to deal with her parents' divorce. However, she completely believes that Ginger exists and at one point almost loses her job after believing she sees Ginger in the store and becoming hysterical.
Gingerbread Girl is a very unique work. It's not a typical story, and if you want a beginning, middle and end with some explanation and closure, it's best to look elsewhere. This graphic novel never really answers anything but lets readers make up their mind. It can be frustrating, because it feels as if there's a lot of information in there that the story is refusing to give up. Depending on the reader, that will be a good thing (because it gets you thinking) or a bad thing (because it doesn't let you understand enough since it doesn't explain all the details). It feels as if this graphic novel could be really psychological, but it chooses not to go there and instead lets readers decide what they will.
The art is done in black, white and sepia. There's something about the style that looks dated, from the '70s maybe. While the art is fairly simple, it gets the point across and some of the facial expressions are great. Still, it's the odd story (and even more unusual form of narration) that makes this graphic novel stand out. Gingerbread Girl is an offbeat and artistic read for adults that purposefully leaves many questions.
-- Danica Davidson
The graphic novel "Gingerbread Girl" teams author Paul Tobin with artist Colleen Coover in a somewhat whimsical tale that blurs the lines between what's real and what the mind makes real. Annah's story - that her mad scientist father extracted part of her brain and used it to create Ginger - might sound crazy, but the way she tells it makes it sound strangely plausible. The novel is narrated by a series of different characters, many directly connected to Annah, while some have a vague relationship or don't know her at all; this helps keep the story flowing in a fun way. Coover's illustrations add depth and character, keeping the story light but focused. This fun and fresh new story is definitely recommended.
Originally published for San Francisco/Sacramento Book Reviews.