Tag Archives: graphic novel

Team Edward Team Jacob

So unless you live under a rock, you know the terms “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob.” They’re shorthand to differentiate between the two Twilight camps. Those in the “Team Edward” camp rooted for Bella and Edward. Those in “Team Jacob” decided that Bella’s breakup with Edward was actually a positive thing, as it brought her to Jacob.

Why am I, a non-Twilight fan, talking about this? It’s because the Team Edward, Team Jacob phenomenon doesn’t just apply to Twilight. Since the dawn of time, storytellers have tugged listener’s heartstrings between two potential love interests in romantic tales. Think of Luke, Leia and Han in “Star Wars,” or Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton fighting over Cate Blanchett in “Bandits.”

We almost always “take sides” in these stories, rooting for the hero (or heroine) who, in our opinion, deserves the protagonist more. Some of us remain staunchly loyal to the first love interest, experiencing vicarious jealousy when the second shows up. The less sentimental among us don’t play by such first come, first served rules, and we’re willing to accept whichever person seems more awesome.

I’m sentimental. Unless the story makes it clear from the outset that the first lover is a complete loser, I’m going to root for him to the bitter end. In other words, I am always a Team Edward.

Until now.

The magical web comic that changed my mind is Red String. *spoilers imminent* Red String, an online American manga at strawberrycomics.com, tells the story of Miharu, a tenth-grade Japanese girl who is unwillingly thrown into an arranged marriage. As luck (or fate?) would have it, she falls in love with her intended. But things get tricky when a second guy shows up, also claiming to be her arranged fiance. It turns out to be a misunderstanding, as he’s actually betrothed to her cousin–but unfortunately, he’s already fallen for Miharu!

Following my usual pattern, I rooted for First Guy. He and Miharu fell in love in chapter one, after all, and Miharu believed it was fate. Second Guy was first presented as an antagonistic threat to true love.

So what on earth made me switch teams?

When First Guy’s parents change their minds about Miharu, they browbeat him to break it off with her. Feeling that the situation is beyond his control, he gives up. Miharu is crushed, and Second Guy is there to help her get through it. At first I thought this was just a red herring, the author instigating a love triangle even though she knows perfectly well that First Guy will be back. But as I read on, I noticed something interesting; Miharu and Second Guy have a happier, more “real” friendship than her relationship with First Guy.

Miharu and Second Guy go to the amusement park together. They do painting projects. They laugh and banter. I was really getting into the chemistry of this second couple. Mortified at myself, I went back and read the beginning chapters of Red String to re-immerse myself in the guy I was “really” rooting for. And I found that, in comparison, he was–emo. Sure, he liked Miharu, but that infatuation with her seemed to define their whole relationship, apart from having anything in common. He was moody, had emotional problems relating to his family, and they experienced drama together more often than they experienced a carefree relationship.  Against my will, I began to hope that Second Guy was here to stay.

What about you? In love triangles, do you typically root for the first lover, or the interloper? Or does it depend on the story? What would make you “switch teams” in a story?

I encourage all of you to stay tuned to Red String. Go back and read it from the beginning. Join “Team First Guy” or “Team Second Guy” and let the battle begin!




Filed under Graphic Novels, Uncategorized


Following my October vacation to the Sirens conference, I’ve fallen behind with my usual life schedule. Sadly, all of my best habits (writing regularly, exercising, cooking healthy food, blogging) have gone by the wayside.

With October nearly over and NaNoWriMo upon us, I realize it’s time to get back in shape (figuratively and, okay, maybe literally too!).

Some goals. Ahem.

This blog now has a regular posting schedule–new posts every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. T, Th and Sa feel like the “even” days of the week to me, with MWF being the “odd” days. That may sound strange, but anyway, I like the even days better, and that’s when I’m going to post.

Once NaNo starts, I’ll work on the sequel to FLYNN, which should motivate me to complete my research on medieval warfare. Also, once I’m back in FLYNN mode, I can go back for that final revision of the final chapter in book I–a task which has been nagging me for two months now.

As I have a lead on my graphic novel, I’ll also spend some time each day working on that.

Those are my main goals. I’m thinking that exercise and eating right will fall in line again once I get back on a regular schedule.

October was fun, but it’s time to buckle down and hit the work (as soon as the madness that is Halloween ends).


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Filed under General Writing

Publications of all sorts

I got another article published over at Friends of Lulu. If you’ve ever wanted to know the five most important things about creating graphic works, read it here.

Things are getting exciting around here! I’m checking out contests for a couple of my short stories, querying FLYNN, and a friend of mine just launched a small publishing company which is desperately seeking submissions. Just what every writer wants to hear. If any of you ever write short stories geared to the Christian market, visit her site at Written World Communications.

Meantime, I’m on my way to the Sirens conference in Vail, CO, a conference dedicated to women in fantasy literature (authors, characters, and readers alike). I’m writing this from Hays, KS, in a Motel 6 where I just paid a little under four dollars to access the Internet.


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Filed under General Writing

Book Club and Published Review

Some updates:

First, I’ve already announced that the next meeting of the Up and Writing Book Club will take place Friday, Sept. 4. Discussion will include the first and second sections MELTING STONES by Tamora Pierce (first section: to the end of chapter 6. second section: to the end of chapter 11.) Come and enjoy the discussion! The post will be up starting in the wee hours of the morning, so drop by any time and check back throughout the day for replies to your comments.

Second, I have a new review published at Friends of Lulu! ROBOT DREAMS by Sara Varon–When best friends Dog and Robot are separated by a tragic accident at the beach, their subsequent search to replace the friendship reveals a lot about modern humanity’s isolation. (This one isn’t a YA fantasy, it’s a graphic novel, my other great love in life).



Filed under Reviews, Up and Writing Book Club

Resuscitating dormant pieces of the soul

Last night and today I worked on the script for my graphic novel ON CAMPUS. I’d forgotten how much I love writing and drawing graphic stories. Every time I work on it, it’s like a little piece of my soul comes out of hibernation, and I feel complete.

I gave up cartooning in college because I was so busy.  As a post-grad aspiring to be an author, I worked mostly on my novel, since traditional novels appeal to a broader market and are a more “practical” use of creative talent.

But I can’t deny my true love any longer. Graphic work holds at least as big a place in my heart as traditional writing.  From now on, I’m going to make it more of a priority in my work time. I hope to start ON CAMPUS as an online series in fall 2010.

What about you? Do you have a hobby or passion that has long lain dormant, which needs to be re-awakened? No time like the present!



Filed under Graphic Novels

First Published Review!

My first published review of fiction is up at Thiszine. It’s a review of Hannah Berry’s graphic novel BRITTEN AND BRULIGHTLY. Go here for the full review.


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Filed under Reviews

Female graphic novelists

I’m having a heck of a time finding published female graphic novelists! I’ve been asked by two different sites to submit reviews of graphic works by women. Both sites are female-centric groups who recognize the sad truth: there aren’t enough women in the comics industry!

Think about it. How many of your Sunday paper comics are written by women? How many by men? Go into any Borders, go the Manga/Graphic Novel section and try to find an American or European graphic novel that is written or drawn by a female. I did this the other day. I found two. Two out of an entire front-and-back shelf of graphic novels (I didn’t check the Marvel stuff, though).

I found Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry and Robot Dreams by Sarah Varon. There’s a graphic novel called Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi that I am just dying to read–it was listed in Newsweek a few weeks ago as one of the top 50 books to read to “understand our times,” whatever that means. I think it just means Persepolis is a really good book.

Looks like me and my graphic novel are among the pioneers. All you drawing ladies out there, let’s get to work and break into the public sphere!

But enough of that. I’ve been absent from this blog for awhile, because of business and laziness. I’ve been working on ideas for my web site, reading, and working on critiques of the two female graphic novelists I found. I’ve been trying to keep house, which isn’t working so well, and I joined a new group of ladies for Tuesday night Bible study. Oh yeah, and I was in an amateur music video for a Rock Band competition. More details on that to follow.

Today is going to be work, followed by going to the pharmacy, followed by going to the vet (my little rat Krycek is sick), followed by going to the hometown to see friends. Maybe eating and exercising in there somewhere.



Filed under Graphic Novels