Review ♦ Life Sucks

About the Book

Life sucks when you’re a baby-faced kid in LA – broke, girlfriendless, and stuck in a dead-end job. And when we’re talking about Dave Miller, we really mean dead-end.

Life sucks harder when that job is night manager at the Last Stop, LA’s finest vampire-owned 24-hour convenience store, and you’re facing an eternity of restocking beef jerky and blood brew for Radu, your crappy boss and Vampire Master.

It’s bad enough that Dave pines for his days as a vegetarian, but when he finds himself competing with psychotic surfer-vamp Wes for the affections of Rosa, a beautiful mortal with a romantic fixation on the dark side, unlife really gets complicated.

My Thoughts  
This was on my reading list for awhile and then when I saw Kailana write this "This book strongly reminded me of Clerks, but the vampire version." on her review I knew I was gonna love it!  Clerks for me is the perfect movie to remind me of high-school, Kevin Smith is a creative genius and Banky Edwards is probably the only fictional in-the-closet gay man I have ever lusted after :P  (I knew I shouldn’t be writing this review today, my thoughts are all over the place)

So, back to Life Sucks. What can I say that doesn’t sound like a fan-girl gush? I really enjoyed this graphic novel, for many reasons. First off, as cliche as it might have seemed, opening up with two guys at an all night convenience store who set their watches in order to catch the goths making their way by the store was perfect. Who hasn’t sat around people-watching, creating your own little peanut gallery of commentary. It was realistic which pulled it away from cliche and into real-life.

Now the second thing I liked about Life Sucks has more to do with imagination than realism. The two regular dudes hanging out, they’re vampires. Vampires that think goth chicks are hot. I mean here are these guys that nobody would take a second glance at and their totally checking out the girls who love guys who pretend to be vampires! Thinking to themselves how stupid this goth-fake-vamp crowd is to assume real vampires would be all Anne Rice – black capes, fake fangs, etc. I dunno, it just seemed so funny, but sad at the same time.

But, the main thing I liked about Life Sucks is the characters. There’s Dave the vamp in love with goth-girl – he’s just such a wuss you can’t help but want to put him out of his misery. He’s a vegetarian, or at least he used to be, so the thought of blood sends him into a faint. No macho Lord of the Night vampire here. And his employer, Radu, whose also Dave’s master vampire – Radu turns poor job seekers into vampires just so he has someone to work the night-shift. Okay, there are so many great characters, so just one more – Wes. Let’s see, Wes was the original night-shift guy. He’s bronzed, buff and a total asshole. He’s a surfer! He does whatever he wants, has no problem with pushing around everyone that gets in his way, he even beheaded one of his vampire brides – he had three to begin with, all blond beach bunnies.

The creativity used in putting together such a potluck of uniquely bizarre characters just reminds me so much of a Kevin Smith movie. Artwork, dialogue and plot were all fantastic as well, but it was the people that really made Life Sucks a winner for me.

About The Creators

Winner of both the Harvey and Lulu Awards for Best New Talent in 1997, Jessica Abel is the author of Soundtrack and Mirror, Window, tow comics collections culled from her comic book series, Artbabe. Her La Perdida (Pantheon, 2006) won the Harvey Award for Best New Series and was excerpted in 2006’s Best American Comics. First Second has also published Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, a textbook on creating comics which she cowrote with her husband and fellow cartoonist, Mark Madden. She resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Is a Brooklyn-based writer of weird fiction and strange music journalism whose work has appeared in Mojo, Arthur, and DC Comics Batman Adventures.  Life Sucks is his first graphic novel.

Is an illustrator who started drawing comics with his magazine, Velocity, before working on numerous projects for DC Comics, including True Faith, Hellblazer, and Deadenders. He lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England, with his wife and two sons.

Title: Life Sucks
Author: Abel, Soria, Pleece
Book Genre: Graphic Novel
Book Type: Trade Paperback 192 pages
Publisher: First Second (Macmillan)
Publication Date: April 2008
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© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.


Bart's Bookshelf said...

So glad you enjoyed it, it's been calling out to me for a re-read recently! :D

Chris said...

I haven't heard of this one! I really have to read it to find out if my library has it!

Kailana said...

I am so glad I wasn't the only one that saw the Kevin Smith connection. When you said you were reading it because of that I was a little worried I led you astray!

Belle said...

You always find the quirkiest books - this one looks great. I have a funny feeling I'm going to be reading a lot more graphic novels this year.

I've got an award for you here.

Nymeth said...

Between you and Kailana, I'm more than sold! Kevin Smith with doesn't get much better than that.

Elizabeth said...

This sounds incredibly entertaining! I'll have to check it out. Might even get my husband to read it, as he's a big Clerks fan. =)

Andi said...

I've had Jessica Abel on my wishlist FOREVER (La Perdida), and I actually JUST ADDED (10 minutes ago) Life Sucks to my library wishlist. I happened to be browsing the graphic novels online and ran across this one. Had never even heard of it! Is that synchronicity or what?!

Stephanie said...

Clerks with Vampires?? I am SO there!! I have a love affair with Kevin Smith that will never die!! Though I think Chasing Amy or Dogma are my personal favorites, Clerks is pretty high on the list!!

Darla D said...

This sounds wonderful! My library has it on order, so I just put it on hold. :-)

Btw I got my Kitty books - thanks again for hosting that great contest! Reviews coming soon...if only you'd stop sidetracking me with all these other alluring books.

naida said...

sounds interesting! I've never heard of this before, great review.

Zibilee said...

This sounds like a really fun read. I think I will try to check it out. Great review, I can tell you really loved the book!

B.Kienapple said...

Kevin Smith is my hero (seconded by Jay, as half of Jay and Silent Bob). I will definitely read this.

bkclubcare said...

Sounds fun!

Mishel said...

Really fantastic review. I have to pick up some more Graphic Novels and this sounds like an excellent choice. I absolutely heart Clerks so I know I'll heart this GC as well. Thanks!

Ladytink_534 said...

I don't think I've ever seen Clerks before but I'm really fond of vampires so I may enjoy this one.

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