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ACjacket_small
Who is AC?
Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Tintin Pantoja
Review by Stephanie Cooke

Who is AC? was one of my purchases from Portland’s Stumptown Comics Fest. I’d heard a little bit about the book and after briefly chatting with Larson at the show, I opted to pick up a copy for myself. Unfortunately, it just kind of lurked in my room up until recently when I decided to crack it open and give it a shot.

First of all, the book follows Lin, a 15-year old writer trying to get attention for her work while living in a small town. After a mysterious phone call while on an airplane, nothing really seems to happen. Lin goes about her business and forgets the whole thing until she witnesses a robbery in progress. Grabbing her phone, she tries to call 9-1-1 and instead calls the mystery number from the airplane and something happens to Lin that changes her.

You might know that I’m a massive advocate of indie titles. I try my best to scope out things that I will like and that I can share with fine folks like you. For the most part, I always find something good about the book and that remains true for Who Is AC? however it’s not without flaws.

Who Is AC? is a relatively quick read and it’s a fun little story but it lacks that memorable quality. The art from Tintin Pantoja does nothing for me in this book whatsoever. She is by no means a bad artist, but her style feels rushed, underdeveloped and at times, very sloppy. There are bits when it works in the book, but for the most part, it just doesn’t.

The book is almost entirely in black and white with occasional splotches of colour when a certain character (who is compared to Sailor Moon and therefor wins back brownie points with me) shows up.

Who is AC? would make a really fun graphic novel series with a few adjustments. I realize that it’s easy to say these things as a reviewer and it’s harder to put changes like that actually in motion, but I truly believe that this story has potential. It feels like a web comic that’s still growing its audience and figuring out what works best.

I would love to see a little anthology of one-off stories featuring Lin and AC, all written by different writers and drawn by various artists. It could be a really fun project that would take this to the next level. However, now I’m just brainstorming random things instead of just reviewing the book, so I’ll move on to the verdict…

VERDICT:
I bought the hardcover of this book at Stumptown but a cheaper softcover IS available now. I didn’t LOVE Who is AC? but it did provide some enjoyment for me and could be worth you checking out for a reasonable price.

I think Hope Larson has a lot of talent and I would like to see more of her work outside of this. She’ll be someone who’s work I keep an eye on for the next little while, even if this particular story wasn’t a title I went particularly gaga over.

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