Jan 7, 2017

Unicorn vs Goblins

by Dana Simpson

I don't know well how to write about comic books very well. There's not really a plot, although there is development- for example Phoebe's relationship with her enemy Dakota is gradually changing- they actually enjoy doing a few things together. And some things are definitely presented chronologically- I started reading Razzle Dazzle Unicorn first, because the books are not marked by vol. number and both were published in the same year so I didn't know which one came first (or if it mattered). But there's an early panel in Razzle Dazzle Unicorn where Phoebe and Marigold are in a role-playing game with Max and there's a reference to goblins that's obviously an inside joke between Phoebe and Mari, which went unexplained (baffling Max too). Of course that made me realize the other book was written first, so I ditched Razzle Dazzle and started reading here.

So what happens in this book? Phoebe goes to a music summer camp where she meets another girl just as 'weird' as she is. There's a monster in the lake at camp- very apt. Phoebe meets another unicorn- Marigold's sister, who is quite different. I like that the unicorns and other magical creatures in these comics have individual personalities and complex relationships-  makes it feel very real in spite of the magical elements. Which are just plain fun. Like an incident involving magicked hair that goes awry.

I like the dynamics of the friendships. I like Phoebe's character, and the cheerful, self-assured pleasantly conceited unicorn. And all the jokes very much placed in modern times- the girl carries her cell phone everywhere. Her frenemy Dakota has a video blog (or a youtube channel or something. Which gets hacked by goblins- and now I know the goblin reference!) Some things I am old enough to not quite get, though- in one of these strips, a kid swears by saying "frack" in place of the f-word. Is that something kids actually say, now? I find it very apropro, haha.

Borrowed from the public library.

Rating: 3/5       176 pages, 2016

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