Every now and then, life will throw something at you that you didn’t know you wanted. That’s this book. Ok, were finished. Go on, get the book and enjoy life that much better.
Alright, alright, honestly this little comic came outta nowhere. It appeared on my local library’s shelf and I decided to give it a shot since it looked “Scott Pilgrim-y,” was a one off volume and a short, light read.
I was right and now I’m sad.
Lucky Penny is written by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota, who I’m SO going to get more familiar with their work after I get though with you on this. Luckily for us, they run a duo artist blog and this book is a result of a successful Kickstarter.
The story follows Penny Brighton as she get fried from her job out of nowhere, loses her apartment, and moves in to her friend, Helen’s, storage unit. Sounds like a real bad time, but our young heroine doesn’t seem too bothered and sees this as an opportunity; an opportunity for cheaper living. Its more like “This is life now” and moves on.
She then gets set up an interview with a job at the local Laundromat owned by Helen’s parents and run by Helen’s younger brother, David, who has this ominous dark cloud over him for a middle-schooler. Instantly, they don’t get along, but she somehow gets the job anyway.
See, here’s immediately where I fell in love with Penny. She has this irresponsible, carefree soul that doesn’t know the meaning of embarrassment that I attached myself to. The “take everything in the moment” attitude she has, from the time she decides to save a cat in a tree from hooligans and flee away when she can’t handle the situation, to literally manipulating poor Walter, who is just some poor guy working at the community center, to let her use the showers there and in return go out on a date with him.
Luckily for her, everything seems to go her way, Walter seems to be actually into her, she has been found out that she’s living in a tin box that gets invaded often by the local mischief makers, and her job is going well, other than David giving her a hard time. But it’s not until midway though the book that she starts to questioning that if she a disaster trail of bad luck.
I found this part a bit hard to swallow due the type of character she was and direction of the story was taking us. In an unfortunate turn of events, Walter’s car gets towed off in middle of the night and then the tow truck slides into lake with his car. What else is in his car but a d-20 dice (that she rolled a critical failure on) necklace she made him some time ago.
The entire luck factor in the book feels pushed in a way, but then redeemed nicely at the end. Interesting that they would use the topic of luck for a young adult book, I almost find it not the main point of the book, but clearly its named after it.
Now I did say earlier that the book has that Scott Pilgrim look to it. I had to put them together just to make sure than the art style was different and there are similarities in look but differences in style. Yuko’s style in her characters in Lucky Penny are every expressive and proportionate as opposed to O’Malley’s more animated feel.
I hate to further compare it to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s work, but the ending has this final fight where Penny has to go and save Walter from David, complete with a realization vision. I don’t feel like its copying, rather more of a tribute in my eyes.