Title: Comic Vol 1
Author: Ha SiHyun
Publisher: Ice Kunion
May Contain Spoilers
When Alice Song wins third place in a comic creator talent search, she’s shocked. She’s the youngest winner in the contest’s history, and now she’s going to have her comic published in a manhwa magazine. If that wasn’t enough to put her on cloud nine, she is reunited with a former teacher she has a major crush on, and she gets to meet one of her favorite manhwa artists. But after meeting Saturn Kang, her life gets a lot more complicated than she’s prepared for. The two don’t exactly hit it off, and soon she’s bickering with him and trying to defend herself against his ardent admirers. Will things ever get back to normal for Alice?
I was starting to feel sorry for Alice, because she is in so far over her head that she can’t even see the surface anymore. She has been sucked into a quagmire of complications, all because her friend secretly enters one of her stories to a manhwa magazine. When she wins third place, her comfortable life gets tossed out the window. First she is reunited with Mr Hwang, the inspiration for her story and the man who makes her heart go pitter-patter. Then he introduces her to hot young comic artist Saturn Kang, and she doesn’t think she can handle this overdose of good fortune. Until she learns the terrible truth about Saturn – he’s her age, and he is a complete and utter turd. It’s always difficult when your illusions are shattered so completely.
Comic turns its lens on Alice’s tumultuous relationship with Saturn. Saturn is the pen name for Patrick, the hottest guy at the boys school next door to Alice’s all girls school. The other girls don’t take too kindly to Alice getting cozy with him, so they start to bully her. What they don’t realize is that Alice was only giving Patrick a piece of her mind and telling him what a jerk she thinks he is. Events spiral quickly downward after that, both with the girls and with Patrick. Patrick saves her from the mob, telling them that Alice is special to him. Now she has to deal with a pack of jealous girls and the monstrous jerk that is Patrick.
The personality clashes between Patrick and Alice rage like forest fires. Once the flames are fanned, there is no stopping them. Their disagreements flare out of control, and the intensity of their dislike is only softened by the comedic touches thrown into fray. It’s almost like Alice is the unsuspecting guest on a game show, where her every movement is captured to be replayed later for an audience. Her misadventures are so over the top that when she really does end up on TV, you can only feel embarrassed for her. Alice’s placid life of quietly drawing comics in a corner is gone, and there’s no way she’s getting it back.
Though the story followed some tired clichés, it offered up the promise of more volatile encounters between Alice and the difficult Patrick. The doe-eyed heroine pining away for an older man while a younger guy waits in the wings has been done countless times, but never with this much pent up enthusiasm. Alice and Patrick get on each other’s nerves, and they don’t hold back or pull any punches, which makes me wonder how they are going to ever find a happy medium. Being together only makes them feel angry and upset, not exactly a recipe for love that will withstand the test of time.
I didn’t care for the artwork, finding it rough and a little unpolished. There aren’t a lot of fine details to the character designs, and they are all rather bland and not very appealing. Despite the lack of definition to the characters, the backgrounds just scream with extraneous clutter, especially in the scenes featuring Alice’s comedic mishaps.
Comic didn’t knock my socks off, but it wasn’t painful to complete, either. It’s just a middle of the road title, showing off bits of promise here and there. I’m curious to know more about the characters, but with an ocean of better titles out there, I’m not going to be in a big hurry to track down more volumes.