Review: “More Than Comics” by Elizabeth Briggs

"More Than Comics" by Elizabeth Briggs A review by Amanda.

Tara and Hector have known each other for years, as writer and artist, respectively, of a popular new graphic novel called Misfit Squad and as friends, but are only now meeting in person for the first time. Tara lives in Boston, Hector in L.A., and the two are finally meeting at San Diego Comic Con, arguably the biggest event for nerds in the United States. Until now, all of Tara and Hector’s communication has been through email and Skype, a setup that suited them both just fine. Tara has recently finished up grad school; Hector is the drummer for a band whose popularity has increased heavily thanks to a reality show. Attending San Diego Comic Con is a dream come true for both of them, in more ways than one. Tara is in nerd heaven, getting to experience SDCC for the first time ever, as well as sitting on her very own panel as the creator of Misfit Squad. She’s also reeling from a recent breakup. Hector is there to perform with his band, Villain Complex, in addition to sitting on the same panel, and hoping that he can make it through without giving away his secret and ruining his friendship with Tara. The second these two lay eyes on each other sparks fly, emotions run high, and all bets are off.

I am a self-proclaimed nerd; a lover of comic books and science fiction, and no stranger to the organized chaos of fan conventions, which is why More Than Comics appealed to me. Although I’ve not yet been to San Diego Comic Con, I recognized enough of Tara’s and Hector’s experiences to find the setting familiar and relatable. I enjoyed reading about characters with whom I have so much in common, and I feel like other con-attendees will feel the same. The author artfully sprinkled references to many existing fandoms (DC, Firefly, Sailor Moon, Bioshock), careful not to overdo it. The fictional graphic novel, Misfit Squad, is one I would love to read in real life.

The tension between Tara and Hector was skillfully written and drawn out just enough to whet the reader’s appetite for more. I felt a connection to them both and invested in what happened to them. The supporting cast of characters was diverse and delightful and the story itself is a quick, happy-go-lucky read. It tended towards the predictable, and Hector came across as more of a stereotypical guy than I would have liked, but it didn’t dim my enjoyment. This book is intended for mature readers and contains several steamy sex scenes as well as some adult language. Technically this is the second book in Elizabeth Briggs’ Chasing The Dream series but it reads well as a standalone. I will definitely be seeking out the first book, More Than Music.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

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