Review: Comic Volume 7-8

Comic Volumes 7-8
By Ha SiHyun
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Romance
Price: $10.99
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Comic is a manhwa that is very much the typical high school romance. It’s stuffed full of melodrama, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It’s the fact that none of the characters are likable enough to carry it off  and the story veers too far of it’s tracks that makes it bad.

It’s not easy sometimes, coming into a manga midstream.  You have several characters that have had the time to become established, get settled into relationships, and then break them off.  If you’d been reading the series from the beginning, this might not be a big deal.  It’s not so much when you’re starting off meeting the characters in mid crisis.  That isn’t to say it’s impossible.  It just means the characters need to be well developed and easy to relate to in some way, good or bad.  That isn’t the case with Comic.

Volume 7 starts off where the previous volume left off, with Alice breaking up with Patrick.  Through the course of the volume the main players come out everyone has reactions to the break up, including Patrick and Alice having second thoughts about it.  Here’s the problem I had with Comic; I didn’t care about any of the characters.  I didn’t just not care for them, I didn’t like them, especially the leads, Alice and Patrick.  Alice is annoying and Patrick is a jerk.  I didn’t see anything redeemable in either character that might make me sympathetic to them.  Neil was the closest to a likable character, and even he was too good to be true.

Reading the description on this series tells you this is supposed to be about a girl becoming a manga creator.  I had no idea that was the premise after reading volume 7.    There was maybe 2 scenes relating to drawing manga near the end of volume 8.  The entire rest of the time was spent with Alice and Patrick’s relationship; their breakup, their changing of mind and missing each other say so, and finally finding other people to date.  If I had read the preceding 6 volumes, I might have cared, but if those volumes were anything like these 2, I would never have made it this far.  Alice and Patrick are too unlikable as the leads.

While I like some bite with my romance, I prefer it be of the good-natured sort, or at least said without malice.  Even though Alice and Patrick are breaking up, they’re memories of their relationship doesn’t seem to justify their wanting to get back together.  All Patrick remembers is how miserable Alice looked when she was with him.  Alice’s thoughts of Patrick are no better, and yet they both try to throw themselves at each other after the breakup.  Really?  You can’t come up with a good reason to be with someone, yet you want to anyway?  Isn’t that what bad relationships are built on?  And yet, with the way the internal dialog is going, it looks like Alice will get back with Patrick.  The girl always has to fall for the bad boy despite being treated well by a good boy.

Comic isn’t a title that’s going to appeal to everyone (obviously).  Fans of titles like Black Bird will probably find more to appreciate in this title than I did.  The art is average as is the teen romance.  There’s nothing new here, and far from interesting.  Unless you’re looking for mindless melodrama, look elsewhere.

Review copies provided by publisher.

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