“Poison Ivy: Thorns”
Writer: Kody Keplinger
Artist: Sara Kipin
Review by Fay Clark
I have the honor of reviewing the newest YA Novel to hit the shelves, Poison Ivy: Thorns. I didn’t even know this was a thing until I got tapped to review it, talk about a great surprise. Not knowing anything about this going in, for me, was the best way into it.
Would you prefer Poison damage or Thorn damage?
I recognised the name Kody Keplinger, and after some research, I realised that she’s a Young Adult Author. This was great news in my eyes, as one of the worst things would be getting people to write a YA graphic novel with no knowledge of the Young Adult genre. Keplinger does a great job with character interactions in Poison Ivy: Thorns. I loved Alice… Oh, that’s Pamela Isley’s best friend, there was some great dialog from her. Alice might not have red hair like Pamela, however she shares her fiery spirit, that’s for sure. Standing up for her friend, her incredible goth chic and just generally being the best character in the book, Alice has set the bar.
In these YA Graphic Novels we normally get a new spin on our favourite characters. Poison Ivy: Thorns is no different. Pamela Isley is a young woman with a dark family secret to hide. Pressure from her father and a complete scumbag of a high school jock, add to the strain. There seems to be a very clear theme running through the book, but unfortunately, Kody Keplinger was as subtle as Harley’s Sledgehammer. Although this is a theme that should be talked about, for me Keplinger missed the mark this time. It’s almost as if she didn’t trust the audience to be able to put two and two together and just decided to spoon feed us the answer. Vrrrrooooooom Vrrrrooooooom, open up, hear comes a spoon full of obvious.
The Addams Family would be proud
The eerie, creepy, Victorian-gothic style artwork by Sara Kipin is outstanding. The artwork really pulled the whole story together. Kipin’s work is the show stealer in Poison Ivy: Thorns. You can tell from page one that this YA Graphic novel will be on the dark side. The eerie atmosphere that Sara’s art creates, clearly fits well with how Kody has written Pamela’s character. The use of darker, earthier (sorry) colors shows you how Pamela sees the world. It’s almost like there’s a smog over everything, and nothing bright can break through.
The Victorian-gothic style of the Isley’s house was an amazing set up, as you could feel the age in those walls. It actually felt like you were in a Addams Family episode, or an Edgar Allen Poe story. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Pamela had found a beating heart in the floor boards. All of this definitely makes the book more engrossing.
I’m so very happy that there’s now a Poison Ivy YA Graphic Novel, for people to get into her character. There’s no shying away from Pamela’s sexuality or difficult home life, and I did enjoy the fact Kody Keplinger didn’t feel the need to make a big deal out of Pamela’s sexuality, just casually added it in and moved on. That wasn’t supposed to be a main plot line and therefore it wasn’t. This was definitely handled better than the main theme.
Sara Kipin is a treasure. her work on Poison Ivy: Thorns made the project for me, and tied it all together seamlessly. If you know and love the character, I would say this is a good read and a good intro for people who don’t know much about her.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment