How good are you at Street Fighter 2?Posted: October 7, 2006
I’d read a bit about Oni Press’s Sidescrollers (by Matthew Loux) in previews a few months ago and wasn’t sure if I’d pick it up. It looked, on the surface too much like Scott Pilgrim for it’s own good. When the book finally arrived in the store on Wednesday I still wasn’t convinced to by it. Yet it’s been a show week at here (damn weather) and so… I just impulsively thought “why the fuck not?”
Thankfully Sidescrollers exceeded my expectations. The similarities I saw with Scott Pilgrim are superficial. Sidescrollers has much more in common with the works of John Hughes than the works of Bryan Lee O’Malley.
Interestingly (and excitedly useless to people who are not me) Loux’s art style causes all of his characters to vaguely look like my friend Robbie. In fact most of the characters act, talk, and dress like him.
Useless pointless anecdote aside, the book follows three just-graduatedteenagers as they have one of those days, and if you’ve ever read (or watch) a teen comedy you know what I mean. The main characters a day of absurd adventures which reaches in a final showdown with the jerk of the piece, which leads to a happy ending. The good guys get the girls and everybody has a good time. The character arc and plot of Sidescrollers is quite typical. The book certainly isn’t trying to change the teen comedy genre FOREVER or something like that. (Interestingly I would enjoy read a book which truly attempts to push the ‘teen comedy’ genre in a new direction, if only for the absurdity of it all)
Where Loux makes his story unique is the in the execution. He does an excellent job of capturing the aimless and immature feel of post-high school teenagers. His art is unique and very kinetic. The best pages to look at are the most frantic because that’s where Loux’s strengths really show.
My only real complaint with the book is that the three main characters are a bit too interchange. It would have been nice of Loux had spent a bit more time fleshing out his protagaists. But perhaps the nature (and length) of the book prevented him from doing that.
If you’re looking for a fun read I can’t help but recommend Sidescrollers.