I was in Savannah GA this weekend and as always we had to pop into E.Shaver Fine Books. I LOVE this little bookstore so much it’s hard to describe. Anyway, I wandered into the graphic novel section (which i had actually never found before) and zeroed in on Check Please!
So, my truth is that I don’t often gravitate to graphic novels (though I recently ALSO purchased and read The Prince and the Dressmaker which was oh-so-wonderful and maybe I’ll post a bit about it soon since I seem to be doing this blog thing again).
My OTHER truth is that I had already read Check Please last summer and follow the web comic. However, I still love having this in my hand and read through the whole book last night 🙂
Anyway.. Book One follows Eric Bittle (Bitty) volgger, pie maker, former figure skater, Hockey bro (Y’all he is a hockey bro for all his Beyonce obsession & cleaning tendencies.. and yes I can use Y’all I AM IN GEORGIA) from day 1 freshman year to last day Sophomore year (THAT DAY). Which is actually a pretty good place to stop. Obviously if you haven’t read the comic before you can always go look at WHAT HAPPENS NEXT (which I totally would). But I felt like in book form the end (THAT END) was actually a satisfying arc and I didn’t feel the need to go back and start over from that place online.
The premiss is actually…odd for someone like me Hockey, pie & college all wrapped up in a format I don’t usually seek out. Even with the brewing romance it’s not my norm. But ya know what? This whole story is just a ray of sunshine and happiness and sometimes you NEED that. You need something that’s easy to read that makes you laugh but that still pulls at you heart strings and covers topics you care about. I was initially pulled in just by seeing others in my social media feed post their appreciation and once I got started I was grateful I gave it a chance. I love these characters. And I especially love that Ngozi is able to continuously introduce whole NEW sets of characters every year that you care equally about while being able to maintain all the feels for the original crew.
So what if you aren’t a fan and haven’t already read it?? Will you enjoy it? Here are some thoughts:
- Hockey?? I don’t really like hockey: Yeah me neither. I was actually a figure skater as a kid/teenager lol but hockey is not my thing and it doesn’t matter AT ALL. It’s not that I just read around the Hockey part either.. I ENJOY it! I don’t know if it’s remotely accurate but I enjoy the subculture that is built around the game.
- College sports bros: Ummmmm yeah…. also not my thing because A. I am about 1 million years removed from undergrad B. I actually went to THEATRE SCHOOL first and hold a BFA in acting, which was before medical school.. Neither of those had a big sports culture lol. And actually even when I was a theatre kid I didn’t party much & jungle juice/tub juice/trash can juice WHATEVER you want to call it scared me. Buuuuuttt somehow Bitty with his pies and curtains and his uber liberal LGBTQ friendly college campus makes the Bro culture endearing? Plus Lardo is an artist and I love it!
- Graphic novels: Yep, I can’t really answer for this one either except to say I’ve been testing the waters of a few things I haven’t tried before. This is my second graphic novel and I also dipped a toe in the waters of Anime for Yuri on Ice (which got me for the figure skating and pinned me with the romance.. I do love romance).
For me this was a perfect reading choice on a day where I needed a bit of happiness BUT also want to read and promote a LGBTQ love story written by a WOC. Because levity and happiness are important but we must use them to bolster ourselves for tough days. And truthfully maybe that’s what I love most about this story, how all the silly, soft bits are wrapped around a more serious foundation about mental health , failure, coming out and love of all kinds. And also pie 🙂