Jamie McKelvie's four-issue Image mini-series is so beautiful and so well-designed that it's easy to forgive its sort of half-amusing Neil Gaiman pastiche of a story. I never read Phonogram, the Image series that brought McKelvie to people's attention, but I remember looking at preview pages online and marveling at the clean and simple yet utterly striking artwork, although the story seemed a little annoying and hipper-than-thou for me. But one look at the cover for this series, which McKelvie both wrote and drew (Phonogram was written by Kieron Gillen), I knew I had to check it out. The art (colored brightly and boldly by Guy Major and Matthew Wilson) indeed lived up to expectations. In contrast to a lot of indie-comics art, it's not sketchy or muddy or ethereal; rather, it's full of thick lines and well-defined spaces, and it captures a certain youth-culture aesthetic that works well with McKelvie's story of an angsty teen who finds out that she's very, very different from her peers.
The teen drama is nothing new; nor, really, is the story of the supposedly human girl suddenly finding out that she's the chosen one in an ancient battle between warring factions of magical creatures. McKelvie carries it all with low-key charm and humor, and wraps things up nicely by having the main character choose to remain an alterna-teen rather than become princess of some fairy kingdom. He promises more stories to come in the last issue's postscript, and now that the setup is out of the way, they could end up being a lot more original and intriguing than this outing. Either way, though, I'll definitely be there for the art. The Suburban Glamour TPB collection will be in stores May 7.