Wednesday, 15 July 2015

So I Read Water Baby

A 250 word (or less) review of Water Baby
by Sophie (Ross) Campbell

Water Baby is a comic about Brody, a teenage girl who lost her leg in a shark attack, who is trying to get on with her life. Along with her friend and roommate Louisa, Brody has to deal with her new disability, come to terms with the trauma of the shark attack, figure out her complicated sexuality, and deal with Jake, her jerk of an ex-boyfriend. Which manifests mostly as a teenage road trip to get rid of the freeloading guy. Water Baby is an odd child. On the one hand, it's a comic with oodles of diversity: featuring a female protagonist of colour with a visible disability who is probably queer in a comic that does a great job finding beauty in everyone. On the other, the comic sexes everything up in a way that feels kind of weird in a comic that is marketed to teenage girls. It's kind of a weird look. I also have questions about the narrative direction of the comic: it works kind of like one of those small, kind of dumb adventures you have as a teen with all the emotional turmoil, confusion, and lack of resolution of real life. Which is fine, but for me pales in comparison to a story taking a more direct look at Brody dealing with her injury. Although, this feels like being disappointed in a thing for being what it’s not, which is probably unfair. Water Baby does feature great art, good enough to justify a read.

Word count: 250

Post by Michael Bround

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