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Like That.

August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

September 18, 2006

Quick Rating: Very Good

What do you do when you’re in love… but don’t know it?

Writer: Patrick Rills
Photography: Patrick Rills
Inks: Allen Gladfelter
Letters: Patrick Rills
Cast: Ryan Sands, Christin Waslioski, Steve Mayeux, Graham Cooper, Grant Fletcher, Britt Kelly
Cover Art: Heath Fullier
Publisher: Icon Studios

Patrick Rills and Icon Studios have given us a really strong romantic comedy in their new graphic novel, Like That. The plot is pretty simple – Reed is in love with Melanie, but he doesn’t realize it yet… and rather than face his emotions, he’s planning to break up with her. The story is told mostly through flashback, as he remembers the hallmarks of their relationship. Some of the memories are sweet, others painful (either physically or emotionally), but they all come together to paint a pretty interesting portrait of a young man who doesn’t understand his own heart.

Although billed as a romantic comedy, you shouldn’t expect the book to be laugh-out-loud funny. The comedy is more subtle, drawn partially from Melanie’s carefree personality and partially from amusement at Reed’s total cluelessness. This is definitely the sort of comic you’ll be more into if you’ve ever been in Reed’s position – and the good news is the circumstances of his life at this point are pretty universal among guys. If you haven’t been there – unable to deal with a sweet, cute girl who honestly loves you – then chances are you’ve got a friend who has been.

The artwork in this book is pretty unique. Rather than going with traditional pencils, Rills assembled a cast of performers and photographed each panel, then handed the photos to inker and designer Allen Gladfelter to turn into the finished page. Gladfelter’s linework mirrors the photographic roots, getting more detailed on close-ups and more iconic when the camera pulls away. The combination gives the book a style you don’t see elsewhere in comics.

This is a self-publisher, so you may need to get your comic shop to order it or check out likethatcomic.com, but if you’re looking for a humble little love story that’ll put a smile on your face, this is definitely the book to seek out.

Rating: 8/10

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