November 14, 2013 by Heidi
It’s that time again–you know, that wonderful time when First Second releases another charmingly unique and wonderful graphic novel into the world. This time the offering is The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means, MK Reed, and Joe Flood who worked together to create a book that was both funny and romantic. The Cute Girl Network gets teen girls in the way more graphic novels ought to.
Today I have MK Reed by to talk about pop culture and the Bechdel Test.
Vampires & Book Clubs in the Cute Girl Network by MK Reed
Vampires. They’re unescapable these days, because if there’s one lesson the entertainment world took from Twilight, it’s that ladies are hot for certain types of sexy, cold-blooded but hot under the hood men. When Greg & I started writing The Cute Girl Network, it was 2009, and Twilight was two movies in, while The Hunger Games was still off our radar. So a vampire-based satire was clearly the answer for our fictional book club discussion.
We wanted to introduce the women of the Cute Girl Network together doing non-network related activities, and also make sure they had at least one scene together where they passed the Bechdel test as a group. The Bechdel test requires that a work have at least two female characters, with names, that discuss something other than a man,. Since the whole point of the Network is to dissuade women from dating terrible men by filling them in on their particular dude’s romantic history, we thought we ought to introduce the girls with a pop culture discussion. Plus, as a YA comics author & a librarian, these are the discussions we have with friends all the time, even sometimes about Twilight.
Three and a half years later, we had some pages to fill in the back of the book, and while we had plenty of sketches & other things to put in, somehow eight pages of sketchbook seemed like a lot. So I offered to write a scene with vampires, if Joe would draw a full page illustration for it. (Okay, I just wanted him to draw more vampires, the other pages were some of my favorites of his.) My entire knowledge of Twilight stems from 20 minutes of listening to the first audiobook before shutting it off forever, and catching a fairly epic fight scene on cable while flipping through channels. I asked Joe to draw a vampire-werewolf fight, and he killed it.
Thanks to MK Reed for stopping by! The Cute Girl Network is out now–and don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour.
The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means, MK Reed, and Joe Flood
Jane’s new in town. When she wipes out on her skateboard right in front of Jack’s food cart, she finds herself agreeing to go on a date with him. Jane’s psyched that her love life is taking a turn for the friskier, but it turns out that Jack has a spotty romantic history, to put it mildly. Cue the Cute Girl Network — a phone tree information-pooling group of local single women. Poor Jane is about to learn every detail of Jack’s past misadventures… whether she wants to or not. Will love prevail?
In this graphic novel from Greg Means, Americus author MK Reed, and Joe Flood, the illustrator of Orcs, comes a fast, witty, and sweet romantic comedy that is actually funny, and actually romantic.