Sunday, 5 October 2014

Soppy: A Love Story by Philippa Rice Review


As much as I disliked this comic, it did give me more laughs than I’ve had from any book for quite some time! 

Philippa Rice and Luke Pearson are a couple of cartoonists in love. Rice shares moments from their everyday life in Soppy where they brush their teeth together, fall asleep on the couch together, argue over who should make the tea, answer the doorbell when the pizza delivery guy shows...

This isn’t really a story or collection of stories, it’s instead snippets of inane observations, and sometimes they’re not even that! One page is literally Philippa and Luke hanging their washing. Another page is the two holding hands in the rain. Another is of the two sitting on the sofa reading. 

When Rice does attempt a narrative, they become ridiculous non-stories. In a four panel page, Luke takes some pickles out of a jar and eats them. He walks over to kiss Philippa and she says “Ergh! Pickles!”. That’s it. There’s an eight panel page where Philippa looks for a pair of matching socks only to see Luke’s wearing odd socks. That’s it. Philippa takes her blanket into Luke’s studio after asking him if she can read in there. He says yes and she settles onto the floor to read. That’s it. Zero insight or interest. 

So why was I laughing? Have you seen that Family Guy sketch The Even Couple starring Jeff Daniels and Bill Pullman? Their life is very agreeable and Peter gets annoyed, yelling “There’s no conflict in this movie!” before firing a missile at the screen. That’s what I kept thinking of the whole time - there’s no conflict or anything in this book! It’s just scenes of two blissed out people. 

The blurb says that this is about celebrating the small moments in relationships but who cares about that? Those everyday moments are what everyone experiences - why would you want to read a book about another couple who do the same boring stuff you do? Moreover, who wants to read about two happy people living a happy life together? Happiness makes for such dull reading! Though I suppose it does live up to its title. 

The less anything happened the further into the book I read, the funnier it got. One page (I refuse to call it a story) has Luke waking up in the middle of the night thinking he can hear something. He and Philippa go downstairs and nothing’s there. They decide to have a midnight snack. The end. Another couple pages has their power go out in the house. They light candles and sit on the sofa. Then the power comes back on. The end. Brilliant! I couldn’t stop laughing at how stupid all of this was! 

I can’t say I hated this if only for the way it kept making me laugh but this is definitely not a good comic book. In fact, it’s barely a comic. If you value cutesiness (the drawing style is kawaii-esque anime) and banality over literally everything else a comic can offer, Soppy is for you.

Soppy

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