Scooter Girl #1

By Chynna Clugston-Major
32 pages, black and white
Published by Oni Press

There’s no doubt about it—scooters are cool. They’re little, sporty, and people in Italy are probably laughing their heads off at America for just recently rediscovering the allure at their everyday vehicles. In a nutshell, though, that’s Chynna Clugston-Major’s Scooter Girl; a book with a main character who at a glance seems to be the coolest thing since sliced bread, but once you find out the truth, is worth a couple of snickers.

Ashton Archer is the latest in a very long line of incredibly successful men in the Archer family. Their good looks and charm have always gotten them everything they ever wanted, without even really trying. Ashton’s enjoying the good life in his last year of high school; all the women he could ever want, successful seasons in football and drama, and of course the snazziest scooter in the school. All of that came crashing to a halt, though, with the arrival of Margaret Sheldon. She’s slick and stylish… and sees right through Ashton’s posing. Now she’s going to expose his shallowness to the rest of the school, and that’s just the beginning…

After hints and teases for quite a while now, Clugston-Major’s Scooter Girl is here… and it’s even better than all the promises surrounding it. Clugston-Major’s story of Ashton Archer’s fall from grace (and presumable redemption) is a real joy to read as all of the different pieces of the story work together perfectly. It would easy to simply make Margaret a plot device to bring Ashton down, but she’s a wonderfully-defined character in her own right; seeing her interact with her brother and the other girls of the school establish her as a character that you want to see more of. Likewise, Ashton’s fall from grace works well because it’s much more prolonged and methodical; rather than try and stretch the reader’s imagination by having a single event bring about his demise, Clugston-Major’s montage of sabotage is both realistic and hysterically funny at the same time.

If you could only use one word to describe the art in Scooter Girl, it would be “fashionable.” Clugston-Major’s paid close attention to the overall look of Scooter Girl, letting the hip and retro fashions define the art itself. There’s a very early montage page in Scooter Girl which blends together all of the fashion and style that has clearly influenced the creation of this book. That’s not the only place all this fashion sense appears, of course. All of Clugston-Major’s characters are given a lot of attention in their visual appearance; she’s taken a lot of time to think about what they’d wear and dressed them appropriately (instead of just drawing generic shirts and pants on everyone). It helps provide a unified look and feel to Scooter Girl, something so few books really pull off. Of course, all the best outfits in the world won’t save a book where characters can’t move, but that’s not a problem here either. Clugston-Major shows once again that she can handle slapstick comedy, with Ashton’s pratfalls and gaffes looking wonderfully natural and limber on the printed page.

It’s going to be great fun to watch Ashton begin his slow journey into redemption; since we’ve got five more issues of Scooter Girl to go, it’s certainly not going to be a quick or easy road. Then again, Clugston-Major herself rarely lets her characters take the quick or easy solution, so this really shouldn’t be a surprise. Those wishing that Clugston-Major had put another Blue Monday collection on her plate will put those regrets to rest once they see the fun of Scooter Girl. A six-issue miniseries, the first issue of Scooter Girl goes on sale today at better comic book stores everywhere.

1 comment to Scooter Girl #1

  • sinjan jana

    pretty much agree with your review.. right noe I’m in the middle of issue #3 and I think this is kinfa love story in the making.. bt the journey till the end will be fun.. its so much fulll ashton falling and stuff like that.. damn good…

    I like #2 more than #1….

    Thanx.. and get going.. you are going a great work by maintaining this blog. I will read all your recommendations.