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Valedictorian USA: Volume 1 Paperback – August 10, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Stephen Hines, through Valedictorian USA, has given us the educational system that our narcissistic and selfish and generally awful populace deserves." -RAFER ROBERTS (Author and illustrator of Plastic Farm)
Valedictorian USA is "...a dog-eat-dog elimination book... that play[s] out like a television show, with character interviews and the works. Even commercials! The levels of irony are boundless and spot on." Todd Goodman (Old World Comics)
"This thing is jam packed with the dark satirical wit that Hines will soon be known for. Valedictorian U.S.A. manages to successfully lampoon shows like Survivor, Big Brother, and Fear Factor in a no holds barred fashion that leaves you more entertained than any combination of these type shows you can think of."
Bill Gladman, Comic Related
About the Author
Stephen Hines was spawned, and currently lives, in Ohio. When he’s not infiltrating the system by teaching high school English, he’s writing. So far he’s published one young adult novel (Hocus Focus), a short story in a dystopian sci-fi anthology (Das Krakenhaus Publishing) called The End of the World as We Know It, a one-shot surrealist horror comic (Icon-O-Plastic), and has several ongoing comic book series (Valedictorian USA, Crackerstacker, and Zombie Fabulous!). His horror graphic novel, S.M.K., is being illustrated as well. He’s currently hard at work on a memoir (Rebirth Defect: My Journey From Catholic Altar Boy to Teen Atheist to Adult Christian Metal Evangelist and Back to Atheism) that will surely alienate the few friends he still has.
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Top customer reviews
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Anyone who’s watched reality shows on TV will relate to this lampooning of their manipulative and exploitive nature. That and the fun storyline and characters participating in the story of who’s going to be the first ‘Valedictorian’ of the United States through the show’s marginally educational competitions, mainly aimed at causing interesting ‘viewing’ results and strife (drama) among the carefully chosen contestants.
Me? I’m rooting for Stevie Garton, although the antics of Marshull “White Chocolate” Van Winkle are entertaining. And it’s sad to see some characters go, removed one by one, but there can only be one winner, right?
In the graphic format the interactions between stereotype ‘white trash’ and snooty ‘rich kids’ and more get played out both in the competitions and behind the scenes, which the author provides in entertaining dialogue and detail.
The bonuses? The commercials between episodes and the novel script format.
Having two artists depict the characters and scenes did distract me some (making this a 4 star instead of 5 rating) but not enough to disrupt the transition in the storyline. Fun stuff, worth the read. Anxiously waiting for the conclusion.
The characters are intentional stereotypes of high school students, something the author, Stephen Hines, knows quite a lot about since he takes breaks form his authoring gig to teach high school kids. The students are put into a Big Brother / Real World situation meant to amp up the drama between them and the producers/editors (or as the author has cleverly named them preditors) push it to extremes resulting in some WTF moments that made me cringe -- in a good way! The kind of cringing where you feel embarrassed for the character and what they have to do, because YOU were that kid once.
I'm looking forward to more volumes. Read it!