Written by Sara Ryan
Art by Dylan Meconis
16 pages, black and white
Published by Coldwater Press

One of the best things about the internet when it comics to comics, I think, is that it opens up the possibilities on comics that you can read. In the past, you often only got copies of small self-published comics and mini-comics through conventions, or occasionally by ordering a copy online. Now, it’s not at all uncommon to see those publications also put online so more people can read them—and in the case of Sara Ryan and Dylan Meconis’s Click, I for one am thrilled that I didn’t miss out on this comic.

Have you ever met someone with who you instantly clicked? Sometimes it’s in a romantic sense, otherwise it’s just as a good friend. Either way, there’s that instant bond that just made you know that everything was working perfectly. That’s what Battle has with Erin; seniors in high school, the two work together at a day care facility and have that instant connection. Unfortunately, some times the relationship isn’t exactly what we were expecting.

What I think I liked so much about Click is how Ryan perfectly pegged the rise and fall of a friendship. As much as media likes to portray the dissolving of friendships involving a horrible fight, or some form of betrayal, the reality is that a lot of friendships simply fade away at one or both ends. That’s what we get here, watching as one half of a pair of friends suddenly and with no warning drops the other, and how the other has to go through phases of denial, resistance, and acceptance as to what happened. (And really, haven’t we all experienced someone who goes through and discards new best friends like they were candy, to the point that looking back all the warning signs were there?) The more I read Click, though, I realized what its greater strength was, and it’s how effortlessly Ryan brings Battle and Erin’s relationship to life. With a short page count, Click could have easily felt rushed or compressed, but that’s never the case here. This is a friendship that comes across so clearly and realistically you’d feel like you’d known them for ages.

It’s also worth noting that while Battle appears in Ryan’s two novels Empress of the World and The Rules for Hearts (and even acts as a bridge between the two), she’s very careful to make sure that you don’t need to have read either book to appreciate Click. It will certainly make you want to read both books (and having read the first, it’s quite highly recommended) but Ryan creates a perfect snapshot of Battle’s life so that if a supporting character from Empress of the World (as well as the star of Ryan and Steve Lieber’s Eisner-nominated short story “Me and Edith Head”) appears, you don’t feel like you’re missing out on a connection or a fact that is required. It’s a strong, helpful writing style that is missing in far too many mediums.

I hadn’t encountered Meconis’s art before, but it’s really pleasing to the eye. There’s a scene early on that set the tone for me; Battle and Erin are at a coffee shop and we get several panels of them had at work, slumped over their laptops or holding books to study. There’s such an ease in those panels that their body language just says everything you need to know. Their comfort levels with each other are immediately evident, and you can practically see the sparks flying as their friendship is being forged. Meconis is good with more than just the big details, though. These are some of the nicest-crafted backgrounds I’ve seen in a while in comics; the day-care center has such a wonderful clutter of toys and books and art and children going on all around our characters, for example, and Katrina hemming random articles of clothing as she’s surrounded by actors in the theatre department while talking on the phone is a wonderful touch in a panel that could’ve just as easily confined itself to a head shot of her answering the phone. Web Comics Nation (where the online version of Click is hosted) has another comic by Meconis available, and based on Click I’ll definitely be taking a look at it.

I’ve heard some people say that writers of one medium shouldn’t try and make the switch to another one, but I think Click continues to prove that all that really matters is that the person is a good writer, period. Ryan’s works in prose as well as sequential art (and there’s quite a few of both) have proven that she’s equally adept at both mediums, and quite frankly, Click is the sort of comic that we need more of. She and Meconis have done a great job; definitely take a moment to check out the online edition of the comic. Or, if you prefer, you can order a copy of the print edition directly from Ryan’s website. (While you’re there, I whole-heartedly recommend picking up some of her other self-published comics. I’ve yet to find a dud.) Highly recommended.

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