By Raina Telgemeier
My friend loaned me a slice-of-life, comedy comic entitled Drama by Raina Telgemeier. I don’t have a strong interest in American comics aside from a couple of superhero titles, but I decided to give this one a shot because the title itself is inviting. A title like Drama, implies that this book will have a lot of drama (and it does.)
Callie is a seventh grade middle school student, who has a passion for stage production. Her drama club is currently doing a musical production entitled Moon over Mississippi. Aside from the drama in the play, there is a lot of drama going on behind the curtains. After being rejected by the eighth grader, Greg, Callie befriends two brothers, Justin and Jesse, who are also part of the production. While hanging out with them, Callie starts to have feeling for Jesse, and tries to get closer to him while working on the stage sets.
I enjoyed how diverse the characters are in this comic book. There were some moments where they mentioned Asian culture such as bubble tea and manga. These small details caught my eye, which I thought were interesting.
However, I felt that Callie’s character was a bit annoying to the extent that she seems to be desperate for romance. For example in the first act, Callie “throws” herself at Greg, who currently has a complicated relationship with his girlfriend, Bonnie. What I mean by that is Callie was willing to make-out with Greg and be the rebound girl. Also, the fact that all of these characters are in middle school, I think they are still too young to even think about dating and relationships. In the end though, Callie realizes that she doesn’t need a guy to be happy, instead she begins to put her efforts into her dream career in stage production.
Furthermore, I would praise Raina Telgemeier’s perspective on LGBT for this comic book. The character, Justin, identifies himself as part of the LGBT community, but he is slowly letting people know about it. I am not going to spoil the ending of this comic book because you should read it and interpret it yourself. Yet, I am going to give my commentary on the theme of LGBT within this comic book. From my interpretations, I think Raina Telgemeier seems to be telling readers that it is okay to be unsure about your sexuality and it is okay to explore. Another important lesson I got from this comic book is to be comfortable with who you are as a person. Although this comic book is aimed for younger audiences, I think Drama does an excellent job in tackling these young-adult issues such as identity, friendship and dating.
This comic book has a major plot twist that I’m not going to reveal. You just have to read it. Overall, I really enjoyed Drama. It was cute and humorous.