Welcome to the first edition of Shari’s Suggestions. In this column, I will be reviewing original graphic novels (OGNs). The majority of books I review will be aimed at young to young adult readers. So, if that is what you like or are looking for, keep coming back. The first OGN I am reviewing is Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass
DC Comics / DC Ink
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Art by Steve Pugh
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual
Release Date: September 3, 2019
This book is a an alternate story of the origin of Harley Quinn. This graphic novel is for teenage readers and up. There is some violence and a few curse words.
The story starts with Harleen Quinzel arriving in Gotham on a bus from her hometown because her Mom had to take a job out of the country. She is going to stay in an apartment with her Grandma for the time being. She enjoys staying there, but since she is high school age, she needs to attend the local high school, where she meets the girl who will become her best friend. That’s right, Ivy is here too. The two hit it off right way and Ivy has some positive influence on her.
Of course, there is a bully named John Kane, at her school, that she and Ivy try to deal with. It turns out that his parents aren’t nice either, and their actions affect Ivy and Harleen’s family and community. They all need to figure out how to solve the problem of the Kanes, but they may not be on the same page on how to solve that problem. Harleen meets another figure we all know, but I don’t want to give everything away here. I will say that this meeting may not go as Harleen plans.
Mariko Tamaki, who wrote this story, captures Harley accent so perfectly in this story. She is a tough talking teenager, and she is devoted to her friends and family. Tamaki also adds a vulnerability to her when it comes to her friends. Harleen wants to make things right for them, but goes the wrong way about it.
Steve Pugh, who does the art for the story, did an amazing job with the limited colors that were chosen for this book. Most of the book was done in black, white, and a shade light blue. Even with the limited colors, it didn’t take away from the story. When more color was needed it was used in the right spots and at the right time. He used bold and bright colors for flashbacks, and when she has interactions with her bad boyfriend. You can guess who that might be.
Carlos M. Mangual did the lettering for this book. His lettering gives the story a kind of energy. The lettering style he uses to emphasizes where sounds or blasts makes them come alive when you read them. He helps bring the story together.
This book has been nominated for multiple Eisner Awards including Best Publication for Teens, Best Writer, and Best Penciler/Inker. This is a great way to introduce comics to young teenagers who aren’t sure about what comic books to read. Also check with your local comic shop for more options for the reader in your family. This book is also great for adults who want something fun to read.