I am so excited to put the spotlight on Brian & Bobbi, especially since it falls on the one year anniversary of The M.O.T.H.E.R. Principle, Volume 1. An anniversary edition on the anniversary of Read Furiously's first title! I think it is a good sign.
Five years ago, author Adam Wilson and illustrator Franco Viglino released the graphic novel Brian & Bobbi, a classic superhero story for the 21st century. Brian is born with superpowers, but no one seems to care while Bobbi is the daughter of a superhero who doesn't seem to care about her. The two find each other and their friendship gives them both an agency to help them find their place in the world. That's the classic part of the superhero story. The 21st century lens is illustrated through characters that are both flawed and inspiring. One of the largest concerns about female comic characters is their lack of development, but that isn't the case with Bobbi. She manages to be funny, endearing, selfish, desperate, and powerful throughout the graphic novel. She wants Brian to make a name for himself so others will notice her - she is left abandoned by family and culture, but learns very quickly she won't win if she strings herself to the classic hero narrative, AKA Brian. One of my favorite parts of this novel is watching Bobbi realize her own worth while still keeping her friendship with Brian. She is her own woman, with her own destiny, and this is something that young readers - both male and female - need to see in the comics they read.
Conversely, Brian's story begins in a vague-stereotypical hero's journey and ends in an extraordinary destiny. Once he moves out of the "typical narrative" of crossing the threshold, Brian discovers that he can become his own superhero on his own terms, which is more of a blessing than he realizes. Choice is the theme throughout Brian & Bobbi - both characters have to decide whether to be their own original creation as they navigate the superhero narrative that is expected of them. Adam Wilson plays with these boundaries of expectation versus reality seamlessly and creates a story that is character-driven through the action and humor that drives so many human stories (or in this case, not human?).
Franco Viglino brings his own style to the panels the same way Adam Wilson tells his story: using influences we are familiar with (you will notice the panels have a manga feel to them) while creating something completely different that is entirely his own. The panels are well-paced, to match the quick-wit dialogue, and the action sequences provide us with more than superhero grimaces and closeups. There are beautiful moments of skyline views that allow us to inhabit Brian & Bobbi's world.
Read Furiously is proud to introduce its release of the 5th Anniversary edition of Brian & Bobbi, complete with a new cover and featuring a cover gallery that includes all of the concept art by Franco Viglino for the original cover. With this edition, we are including a pin-up gallery featuring artwork by the talented Alex Schumacher, Randi King, JC Grande, Lynn Carper, Nolan Moore, and Rodolfo Maximiliano. You can purchase your copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and (most importantly) at your local independent bookstore. You can also get your autographed copy from us at The Furious Reader.
Enjoy your new #FridayReads, furious readers! As always, I remain your humble book blogger telling you to: read well, read often, and read furiously!