A Girl. A Boy. But nothing like a traditional love story…

Published On February 13, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Girl And Boy Issue 1

By Andrew Tunney

“My name is Girl.”

“And this is my sidekick Boy.”

“Together we fight crime and loneliness.”

That’s the opening dialogue from Andrew Tunney’s Girl & Boy, a 36-page debut comic that takes the whole sidekick thing to the obvious conclusion. Girl meets Boy.

Although in truth, there’s not really that much of the superhero thing going on. In fact, aside from mentions of secret identities (she’s told him, he’s keeping quiet about his, but she’s sure he’ll share in time) and that “fighting crime and loneliness” quote they could really just as easily be lovers who happen to like running across the city skyline wearing mini-masks and club culture costumes.

But it’s immaterial. This has practically nothing to do with superheroes, and everything to do with a girl, and a boy, in love…..

(Oh yes, the nights are the best. Pages 1 & 2 of Girl & Boy © Andrew Tunney)

Adam Cadwell recently picked Tunney’s Girl & Boy for one of his best of 2011 saying:

“…a one shot story of young romance told using the iconography of superheroes, fashion and street art. It’s as close to a stylish music video than I’ve ever seen comics get and the artwork is uniquely his own. It kind of makes me wish I’d never encouraged him, he’ll put us all to shame.”

Yep, that’s spot on – Tunney’s art is crisp, very computer-effect laden, angular, kinetic, and very stylised. It mixes a street art sensibility with an almost couture sense of style.

The stylish lines, the super-thin characters, and the rain (another damn fine rain in comics moment – always nice to see), it really adds up to something that just looks absolutely now. And definitely a now through the imagery of the music video.

And just like any music video it’s never going to be a truly satisfying thing. Too short, too little goes on, but even in just a few pages there’s rock solid, beautifully constructed comic storytelling. Stylistically it’s not the same, but rhythmically there’s the sense of early Paul Pope, and you can’t get much more perfect than that in my eyes.

You’ll see a really well constructed tale of love and youth, with a sensuality that crackles all the way through, whether the girl and the boy are in bed or racing across the rooftops.

But there’s a moment early on, where Tunney’s storytelling is so spot on that I can’t help but be impressed each and every time I read the comic. It’s there on page 7,  the last of Tunney’s preview pages:

The Girl has spent the first six pages telling us of a love that knows no bounds, a passionate intense relationship, something amazing, something true.

And then, with just one look, one little look, Boy blows it all away, but only to us, not to her.

That look there, that one open eye, that’s what convinced me Tunney’s comic was really special. The timing, the subtlety, the knowing look to camera, to the reader. Perfect.

I’m not going to say any more, not going to reveal anything of the plot beyond what you’ll find in the preview pages at Tunney’s site. But trust me, Cadwell’s absolutely right, Andrew Tunney is a major talent waiting to happen. And hopefully Girl & Boy is just the start. Go and buy Girl & Boy at Tunney’s webstore, and then you’ll be able to say you were there right at the beginning.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

2 Responses to A Girl. A Boy. But nothing like a traditional love story…

  1. Tanwall says:

    I picked Boy and Girl up recently having seen some frames on another blog. It’s alright, but very caught up in itself. And not as good as it thinks it is either.

    Style is good, an this has plenty, but there’s no substance to back it up. It’s sorta frustrating in that respect.

    I’ll be interested to see what Andew Tunney does next tho.

    • Richard says:

      Yes, it is caught up in itself, but in many ways that’s part of the experience I enjoyed. I like Tunney’s confidence, and his work, and by all accounts the artist as well, has a swagger about it. Another similarity with Paul Pope when he started – he was supremely confident in his own greatness as well, and although Tunney has yet to prove it, we shouldn’t forget he’s just starting out.

      As I said in the review, there isn’t that much to the comic, so Tanwall may be right about a lack of substance, but I don’t think Tunney was aiming for substance, not really. This was always intended to be a fast, stylish work. And on that level I really thought it worked. And I’m still right about that moment of the look, that’s class storytelling, to do so much with just one glance in one panel.