I actually met Emily McGovern in person! I was checking out what events were going on in the area near my office one evening, and I saw that there was a book signing about a 10-15 minute walk away, and I went on a whim! This is why I moved to London, to be clear, this sort of serendipitous ability to do cool things. She drew a tiger in my book as that is my favorite animal (or maybe elephants are?) and I couldn’t think of anything else to say when asked. Note to self: next time, be prepared!!!
McGovern is the author behind the popular My Life as a Background Slytherin/Hufflepuff/Gryffindor/Ravenclaw series, and more recently the author of Bloodlust & Bonnets. While the latter has lost some of its charm given my ambivalence over author/work separation (namely, I could spend some extra brainpower being stressed about whatever new terrible thing JKR has decided to promote, or I could read…*waves* anything else), I find McGovern’s humor charming and dead pan, and a book ostensibly about her experiences as a highly-paid Oxbridge educated tutor for the children of wealthy Russian oligarchs was sure to be right up my alley–especially given the short memoir comics that she’s been posting about the experience.
Perhaps then it’s slightly on me that I was so surprised that this novel was not that, and is instead a graphic novel in the vein of Black Mirror, The Circle, or The Candy House: namely, what does happen as technology continues to technology?
The entire McGovern arc is here–the instantly recognizable artwork, the under-the-breath mutterings of characters forced into increasingly ludicrous but individually reasonable steps, the flounces. While on the whole I found myself into the plot and interested to see what was happening, I think this book could have really benefitted from being split into two volumes so that the panels could have been twice the size. It’s hard to see what’s going on when each panel is a slim rectangle, and given that most things these days are vector images I imagine that everything could have been doubled without much pain. It also take a little while to get going–I put this down for a while, only partially because my life isn’t really situated around physical books–but once I re-opened it I did finish it pretty rapidly.