Wednesday 12 July 2017

Lucky Penny Review (Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota)

Penny gets fired from her job and booted out of her flat all in the span of a day. Ooooh, I gets it, the title’s irooooonnnnicccc! So she moves into a storage unit and goes to work at a laundromat run by her friend’s kid brother for comedy reasons. But romance is around the corner in the form of nerdy Walter - could Penny... get Lucky, (ohohoho, nudge nudge)?! 

I quite liked Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota’s comic Lucky Penny - up until the final act anyway. In the same vein as Scott Pilgrim and Giant Days, it has a very easygoing, charming style to it that’s amusingly quirky but not annoyingly so. Penny and Walter are both likeable characters and their predictable romance, if not original or surprising, was pleasant to see unfolding. See, I’m not a heartless ogre!! Walter naming his car Ophelia and quoting Hamlet at it was the only moment that was too twee for my blood. 

Buuuut… the wheels on the bus fall off in the final act for me. In Scott Pilgrim, Scott’s fantasy fight sequences were just that: fantasy. Hirsh/Ota attempt something like that here but it’s not fantasy. So the characters engage in weird Kill Bill-type fight scenes, smashing machines with their fists - it’s much too ridiculous. These are just ordinary young people! It would’ve worked far better if it was fantasy; as it is, it’s a misstep that totally lost me. 

Also, the “villain’s” motivation was awful, trite nonsense and the kids trying to bus’ into Penny’s storage unit was a pointless subplot. Ota’s art is decent but it’s standard manga illustration and nothing special. 

Lucky Penny is a delightful romance comic for the most part that overreaches when it broaches Bryan Lee O’Malley territory. I’d still say it’s worth a look if you’re a Scott Pilgrim/Giant Days fan but it’s also not as good as either of those titles so don’t get them hopes up too high.

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