If anyone ever wondered what a European comic-book adaptation of a typical Lifetime movie might be like, here it is.

Of course, it’s safe to say that no one involved with this project set out to construct a graphic novel that’s so … different. No, it’s not different. It’s just bad. Anyone who’s endured one of those implausible excuses for a movie on cable television would never expect to endure such poor storytelling in a book by Humanoids, whose eye for quality is historically much keener than this.

Two women develop a bond after surviving a brutal shoot-up of a supermarket that claimed the life of one’s lover and the other’s son. But this attempt at Thelma & Louise meets Death Wish comes across more like Laverne & Shirley meets Emmanuelle. Where it tries to be suspenseful, it’s amusingly predictable. When it tries to be emotional, it’s agonizingly clichéd. And, when it doesn’t know what to try, it falls back on that tried and true literary hook that always wakes ’em up: lesbian sex scenes.

Smolderen does eventually manage to elevate the story to something mildly intriguing, but by then most will have pulled the plug and gone to sleep. If not for the finely detailed illustrations by Marcelé, bedtime would have come much earlier. Even those who make it will realize afterwards that the beautifully rendered but deceptive cover by Georges Bess is representative of nothing contained in the book. Readers would be best off skipping this and renting one of the above films. Even Emmanuelle.

— Jim Johnson

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10 copies available from $12.00
 Thierry SmolderenPhilippe Marcelé