Graphic Novel Review: Penny Nichols by MK Reed and Greg Means, art by Matt Wiegle.

Penny Nichols by MK Reed and Greg Means, art by Matt Wiegle. Top Shelf, 2019. 9781603094481. 206pp.

Penny is smart and funny, making the best of temp jobs when she gets the chance to help make a low-budget, gore-filled slasher movie. She gets sucked in by everyone’s enthusiasm, and soon quits temp work so that she can be involved in every aspect of the production. The movie itself is entertaining in a 1980s, direct-to-VHS way, and the personalities involved are all hilarious.

At the beginning of the book, you’ll fall in love with Penny as she passes out juice samples at a health expo while trying not to go insane. The date she goes on afterward is so cringeworthy. When she makes up a bedtime story for her sister’s kids, you’ll wish Penny had been your babysitter. She’s just fun to listen to and is the most entertaining character I’ve read about in a long time; a chatty, well-meaning smart ass who gets shit done. Plus the movie in the book is full of fake murder, and artist Matt Wiegel has as much fun with that as Reed and Means did writing the dialogue.



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