My Dead Girlfriend, by Eric Wight

At first glance, the first volume of Eric Wight’s My Dead Girlfriend has two things going for it—glowing recommendations from Meg Cabot and Joss Whedon—and one major strike against it: cover art that appears to have been specially designed to appeal to adolescent Hot Topic shoppers. I was dubious, but I put my faith in Meg and Joss’s judgment and requested a review copy.

Happily, Meg and Joss didn’t lead me astray. My Dead Girlfriend is funny and charming, with a cutesy-macabre sensibility that’s half Shawn of the Dead, half Hello Kitty. Wight’s hero is a smart-mouthed teenager named Finney Bleak. Finney’s the youngest member of the Bleak family, a clan best known for the varied and spectacular ways that they met their early deaths, which range from being ground into sausage meat to floating away in a hot air balloon. Glumly fixated on his impending death, Finney spends his days avoiding the family ghosts, pining after his lost love (the adorable, candy-sweet Jenny, who mysteriously disappeared after she and Finney met at a local carnival), and suffering through life at Mephisto Prep, a high school populated by potion-pushing witches, budding mad scientists, and supernatural bullies. Finney’s marking time until Jenny shows up again, just as smart, beautiful, and loving as he remembered... but a lot less corporeal. Still, a loving ghost girlfriend is better than no girlfriend at all, right?

The first volume of My Dead Girlfriend devotes so much time to set-up that the plot doesn’t have much of a chance to get rolling. There’s enough story to tantalize, but readers with low patience levels might be better off waiting until the next volume comes out. Wight’s Goth-cute sensibility is uneven: for every perfect joke (the undead clique at Finney’s school is called the “Aberzombies”), there’s another that’s irritatingly twee (Finney refers to his pet gargoyle as “Man’s best fiend”). Still, mediocre puns aside, it’s rare to find an American comic book series that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I’m confident that readers will thoroughly enjoy Wight’s sweet, snarky, ghoulish take on high school romance.
Posted by: Julia, Last edit by: Julianka


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