Title/Author/Pg: Shade, the Changing Girl, Volume 1: Earth Girl Made Easy, written by Cecil Castellucci and illustrated by Marley Zarcone. 144pg
Date Published: July 4, 2017
Date Read: June 19, 2017
Genre: Graphic Novels/Comics, Science Fiction
As per usual with graphic novels, I zoomed through this in maybe two hours, split between sittings. I was really excited going into this graphic novel, and Shade, the Changing Girl, Volume 1: Earth Girl Made Easy didn’t disappoint!
Volume 1 of Shade, the Changing Girl tells the story of Loma, who lives on planet Meta, and feels stuck in her own life. She longs to go to Earth because of the 1950s soap operas she’s watched on TV, and ends up donning the infamous madness coat and transporting herself to Earth. On Earth, she embodies a high school girl–Megan– who was on the brink of death. After reviving, she becomes entangled in Megan’s history–how she got injured, and her cruel treatment of her ‘friends’. Loma must figure out how to survive on this new planet and navigate the complicated life Megan has left for her.
The one factor that really influences how much I enjoy a graphic novel is the illustrations. If the illustrations aren’t that good, or are in a style I don’t enjoy, it takes a lot for me to continue reading it. However, based on the cover, I had a feeling that I’d really enjoy this style of illustration. The illustrations were very nice, with thin lines showing just enough detail. However, at times they looked a bit stiff and awkward. But the bright colors and funky textures really added life to the story and enhanced the otherworldly madness of the story.
I have a few small critiques–
The ending seemed rather sudden, as if everything came to a head all at once and was quickly wrapped up. I wish there was more of a buildup towards the ending, or at least that the ending scene was drawn out a little longer. While there were moments where the ending was foreshadowed throughout the graphic novel, these moments were confusing for me to understand prior to finishing the novel.
I also would have enjoyed learning more about Megan and other character’s pasts, to add some length and depth to the story. I felt that we get a very shallow dive into Megan’s personality and history, with some brief glimpses of her history throughout the story. However, I think this critique is possibly not as relevant in the form of graphic novels, since they are meant to be short and continued in a series format. I hope that once more volumes come out, I can read more about other characters and learn more about Megan, and Loma.
I do believe this is connected to a previous Shade, The Changing Man series. However, I have not read this series, and thus cannot comment on any similarities/differences, etc. If you’ve read both, let me know what you think!
Overall, I thought this graphic novel was very enjoyable and fun to read. The story is exciting and fast-paced, and is a great mix of science fiction and reality. I rated it 4/5 stars. Thank you to the publisher and and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced egalley of this title!