April 15, 2017 by heligena
#44 POSEURS BY RICH MAYS & DEBORAH VANKIN
We’re sorry to say that the cover illustrations for this YA party-noir graphic novel oversold it somewhat.
To its credit, it does contain some cool stripped down visuals, and a series of scenes where the two main female leads compete to wear the most outlandish costumes possible does make proceedings visually interesting for a time. But to be honest the fact that the cast of characters are in general massively privileged and unsympathetic undercuts any originality the book might have had. And with an overarching plot that is just plain predictable the combination of these two factors pushes this into the mediocre category by the end.
That sounds harsh we know.
But the problem is that Poseurs just doesn’t feel as satirical as it would like to be. Don’t get us wrong, Mac’s dialogue (a kind of hybrid Hollywood language all of its own) is entertaining. But beneath the wit and the veneer there are no dark revelations to be found on the plight of America’s aimless youth here. There are no insights into today’s celebrity obsessed culture. Simply a succession of ludicrous plot twists that destroy any sense of authenticity that might have given the novel a grounding in real life. Jenna’s leading Mac on also felt distinctly anti-feminist to us, which needless to say was a massive turn off.
In a nutshell, everything felt as if it were described using strokes that were way too broad to be knowing. Which doesn’t mean it wasn’t diverting at times but did make things feel kind of unexceptional in a world brimming with talented GN artists and writers. Perhaps we expected more insight from a journalist/author like Deborah Vankin with such an impressive resume under her belt (think long standing Arts and Culture writer for the highly esteemed Los Angeles Times.) Something more than glib repartee and attempts at breaking the fourth wall that felt gimmicky and snide rather than fresh or innovative.
Maybe the fault lies with our expectations then.
But all in all, Poseurs was a disappointing read and in desperate need of input from someone who understands the history of teen angst. Thinking about it, someone like Damian Chazelle or Will Gluck could definitely turn this into a successful TV or movie enterprise for sure, possessing as they do an ear and an eye for young adult nuance. But as it stands, Poseurs languishes as a distinctly average offering in the Graphic Novel genre, sad to say.
There we said it.
Don’t hate us.