Abe and I found Koko Be Good by Jen Wang at Stumptown Comic Fest 2011. Jen was sharing a booth with the creator of Anya's Ghost, which also looks good but she didn't have it for sale yet. We also got the most beautiful blue poster of a couple wearing deer skin and mushrooms (not wearing the mushrooms). It is a lovely picture. Jen's art is really beautiful. The cover of Koko Be Good is what pulled us in. Jen even signed it for Abe. I read it while I was on vacation with my mom a few months ago. Oddly enough, there was a review in The Bloomsbury Review that week.
Art: 4 stars
Just as the art and the poster promised, the art is beautiful. It looks like she is inspired a bit by manga. While that is not always my cup of tea, I think she made use of some of the techniques like the small star people for the scenes of extreme or powerful emotion. I think it worked but if you are not used to that style, if can be off putting. She also has a tendency to color people with lightly red noses, which I find to be one of the most endearing things you can do in art.
Story: 4 stars
The story is a slice of life style. It follows a conservative follower guy who seems a bit lost with life and a weird girl who is bursting with so much confidence and bravado she doesn't know what to do with it all. She doesn't know what each day will bring and he is following his older girlfriend as she works towards her dreams. The two randomly meet and become friends. Over the course of their friendship together, they learn a lot about how to live life and temper each other's personalities so they are not debilitating single minded; he learns that he counts and she learns other people do, too. There is a really sad secondary story, too. Their speech flows naturally. Sometimes it is a bit over the top for Koko, but it seemed appropriate for her.
Overall: 4 stars
I would definitely recommend Koko Be Good. It is such a sweet story with sad tones and that really is one of my favorite types of story. However, Abe was not such a big fan because nothing really happens. I can understand why he felt that way, but I like stories like that. That might explain my fondness for mini comics, which also seem to go nowhere. I think it is ripe for a sequel; I am not sure if one is intended.