Looking for a new graphic novel? Skip Warm Blood by Josh Tierney. What I thought was going to be a murder mystery with a main character that was less Nancy Drew and more an everyday girl trying to make it through high school algebra turned into an odd collection of stories connected by a girl called Penny. Every single page has some bizarre events. Even if it is just a normal thing like trying on clothes at the mall. But the most bizarre event? The fact the killer introduces himself to Penny a few pages in. Blood on hands and a “Hi I just killed the kid in the gym.” And Penny acts like he said, “This morning I had pancakes.” (yum pancakes…)
I am not sure why this is “the popular high-school mystery webcomic” it is said to be to start with. I guess I am really showing my age and have no idea why things are “popular” or what people want to read.
The only part of the book I like is the art. The art is interesting with its over 30 illustrators’ unique styles punctuating the story. Artists like Afu Chan, Joysuke, Winston Young, Olivier Pichard, Marina Julia (none of whom I know, but enjoyed seeing their works) each illustrate a section with a radically different style. From realistic to almost abstract, each area shows the sweet, overly eager to please new friend, the girl who breaks the fourth wall, Penny’s old friends from elementary school, the principal, swim teacher and more with a style that keeps you reading. Never knowing if there will be a mutant toad or the killer’s twin sister popping up for no reason whatsoever did not keep me going. Wondering what piece of artwork was coming did.
I would say teens (at least 12 and up, but I would be more 14 and up) are the audience and we adults should probably just sit back and wonder about “kids today” from our rocking chairs.