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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Review: Vivacity

Since publishing her debut comic It Girl earlier this year, Jessica Martin has contributed short stories to the anthologies To End All Wars and To Arms, and continued to develop her graphic novel Elsie Harris Picture Palace (to be published by Miwk Publishing next summer). She's also just published her second comic, Vivacity, which Jessica calls "a graphic vignette" on the life of the actress Vivien Leigh.

Like It Girl, Vivacity is another compelling comic that dips into the history of a Hollywood icon. I must admit I'm not usually a reader of biographies and I knew very little about Vivien Leigh so this comic proved very informative. Jessica uses the scenario of having the actress being interviewed in 1939, which allows Vivien Leigh to tell her own story, - a more engaging technique than if it had just been recounted as a straight biography. We briefly learn of Ms Leigh's childhood and early days but the main focus is on her famous role in Gone With the Wind as Scarlett O'Hara. We also learn of her affair with Laurence Olivier, who she later married.

Vivacity is shot from the pencil art and it really works. It's been interesting to see Jessica Martin's development as an artist throughout this year and I think her standout ability is capturing likenesses and expressions. The eyes in particular have soul and character, which isn't an easy thing to master, but it's an important aspect in connecting with the reader and of course conveying emotion in a story. As Jessica is an actress herself I think this helps her to relate to the subject matter and that enthusiasm benefits the story. 

A good comic and worth your support. You can buy your copy of Vivacity (and other items by Jessica Martin) at the artist's website:

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