Fool's Gold vol.1&2
art/story: Amy Reeder
Two Friday's ago I did an interview with Amy Reeder. While I had only been familiar with Amy's work on Madame Xanadu previous to my research for the interview I was happy to discover Amy had done a project through Tokyo Pop. Amy was the writer and artist on a book called Fool's Gold which has two published volumes. Sadly the book, to my knowledge, was canceled and the third and final book never made it to the public. I did, however, have the opportunity to read the first two volumes and I had a lot of fun with them. Plus, Amy's art is gorgeous in black and white (as it is in color but it's always neat to see the contrast).
The basic story of Fool's Gold follows a girl named Penny while she's in high school. Penny lives with her Dad and her Aunt (who's not much older than Penny and not very mature). Her Aunt own's a clothing store where Penny works. Thanks to her Aunt Penny found that she has a love for designing clothing and as such she makes much of her own clothing. During the course of the school year Penny begins to wonder why girls date awful guys when there are perfectly nice guys without girlfriends. This leads Penny to establish a secret club where girls make promises to never date certain guys at their school - guys that they vote are bad boyfriends (as in they are known to cheat on or mistreat their girlfriends). This, of course, leads to all sorts of fun repercussions, one being Penny falling for a guy the club votes to avoid.
The plot is pretty easy to follow and the idea of teenage girls vowing to avoid dating low-life guys is actually kind of inspiring - I've had too many friends dating people who treated them badly in my life time. It would have been nice to have a list of guys who were known to treat their girlfriends poorly. Of course it gets out of hand in the books (as such a club would have to) and some of the guys blacklisted aren't as bad as they are made out to be. As fun as the story is I enjoyed the art even more.
It's a treat to see so much of Amy's line work. Also, because the main character designs clothing Amy comes up with some really innovative costume work. I thought one of Penny's dresses was especially fun - an apron like design with cat-face pockets. Also, there is a Halloween party at one point in the story and as a Halloween junkie it was fun to see all of the themes Amy came up with for all the characters' costumes. Amy's art is easy to follow as well - most of the time I didn't need the dialogue to understand what was happening in the story.
Overall Fool's Gold was a cute and fun read with really pretty art and design. I'd consider it to be light reading, but it is a fairly all-ages book. Considering there was only one more volume to finish this story it's a shame Tokyo Pop never published the conclusion. If you are a fan of Amy's art you should definitely get a copy of Fool's Gold :)