Webcomics Review: Marry Me

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I didn't use to think much of Bobby Crosby. The younger brother of Keenspot co-founder Chris Crosby, he was known for taking immaturity to a new level in the flame wars that seemed omnipresent in the early days of webcomics. His early comics were odd and often crass, and often reflected that same level of immaturity.

So it was with some surprise that I recently began hearing really good things about one of his latest comics, +EV - a poker based strip that, much like I found with Life's a Bluff, manages to balance hard-core poker lingo with a likeable cast and accessible jokes.

And when I stumbled upon his latest work, I was completely floored.

The strip is called Marry Me, and is a romantic comedy graphic novel set to run around 80 pages - something of a rarity in the webcomics world. Bobby's goal for it is to eventually write it up as a screenplay and sell it to Hollywood, which certainly qualifies as a bold plan. What really makes it great, though, is that as I read through the comic, I actually think the plan might work.

Another confession to make: I've never been a fan of Britney Spears. I know, I know, blasphemy - but somehow I've never been altogether impressed with the pop princesses of America and their exceptionally shallow lives. Yet here we have a character who seems to fit right into the same exact category, set in a tale that is essentially standard Hollywood fluff... and I find myself rooting for her all the way.

Stasia, the star of the show, manages to both seem real and fundamentally human, not only in spite of, but possibly because of her disconnect from reality. She's a pop star, fabulously wealthy and famous, used to similarly famous boyfriends, and adored by millions of fans - and frustrated with a life where no one takes her seriously, and no one who really knows who she is, least of all herself.

It is a predictable story, but somehow still an enjoyable read. It takes skill to pull it altogether - to make us feel sympathy for this fabulously rich girl whose problems are all of her own invention - but he manages to do it. He isn't alone in this - though the script is solid, the art is fantastic, and that is the work of one Remy "Eisu" Mokhtar, creator of No Pink Ponies, and all-around genius artist. Eisu manages to give the art a flair all of its own, and shows real skill for capturing each character's mood through expressions and body language.

Lively art, clever jokes, and an enjoyable story make this a worthwhile read. The drive to bring all that together makes it into a whole lot more. Whatever reputation Bobby Crosby used to have, he's establishing a new one for making thoroughly professional, and entertaining, comics.

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