Rating: 4/5 – Wonderful Slice-of-Life, I Couldn’t Stop Once I Started.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
I got House Party as part of Comixology’s SXSW ’15 “Submit Pack” (good through 3/16/2015). They do this for the South by Southwest festival each year where they offer a huge bundle of comics for a dime a piece. This year it was 30 comics for $2.99. Quite a deal. That said, the normal price on this 75-page gem is $1.99 and I think it is worth every penny of the full $1.99 price. Actually, there are 10 pin-=up pages on top of the 75-page story, so you’re getting a lot for that $1.99.
I had not experienced Rachael Smith’s work before and now I’m going to be keeping my eye out for her. She has an art style that reminds me a bit of Brooke Allen (Lumberjanes) or Natasha Allegri (Bee & Puppycat) while actually not being really like either one, if that makes any sense. Let’s say it evokes a similar feeling in me as a reader when I see the works of these artists. The art style doesn’t have the same level of ‘polish’ as some other artists may have, but that’s all part of the charm of it. You’re either going to like it or you’re not, like with any art. You can see Smith’s art on her web-site.
This particular comic, like the name implies, is the story of some flat-mates who decide to recapture their college days by throwing an epic house party. Smith is British, and there is a lot of slang in this, so be warned if that is something you are not a fan of. For my own part, I love that kind of thing, so it added a whole extra dimension to the whole thing.
Rachael Smith has a wonderful ability to create a set of characters who came across to me as immediately likeable and by a few pages in felt real to me. This is such an important element for me when reading a slice-of-life story. If I am not ‘buying’ the characters as real then I can’t become immersed in the story. For me, this was a real page turner. Once I started reading it I couldn’t stop until I had finished it, and it was a nice long read. If you’re curious, check out the first few pages over on the Comixology site for free. According to her Blog, she has a new GN called ‘The Rabbit’ coming out in August, I’m going to have to be keeping my eyes open for it!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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