Comic Book Review: Uptown Girl: A Long Forgotten Fairytale by Bob Lipski
Once upon a time, in a land far away (possibly Maine), there was a cursed village. No one could leave the village, because it was ruled by the King of Birds. The villagers did not know much about their king, save that he hated it when anyone asked questions about him, and could command birds. Few visitors came, and none escaped.
Meanwhile in Minneapolis, ace reporter Uptown Girl goes on a fitness kick while her slacker friend Rocketman runs up his credit card bill. This culminates in a trip to London that gets cut short–and they and artist Ruby Tuesday wind up in a certain cursed village.
This is a true graphic novel, a long-form story in one volume told in comics format. It recycles a storyline from the out of print floppies, but adds a lot of new material and updates the modern day setting a bit. The main plot should be easily understandable by new readers, but there are a couple of cameos and background references to other stories that may elude them. (For example, Bandwagon Soda.)
The art style is fairly simple (almost all women have perfectly circular heads), which leads to a bit of mental confusion when the only difference in body shape between Uptown Girl and the advertising model that sparks UG’s fitness kick is that you can see more of the latter’s shape because she’s wearing less clothes.
The first part of the book is very humorous, with the story becoming somewhat more serious once the protagonists reach the cursed village. Man-child Rocketman refuses to become less silly. Some folks may find the motivations of the King of Birds less than satisfying, as he’s not forthcoming beyond a desire to rule, and no one else knows.
While the main characters are in their late twenties, there’s nothing here to make the book unsuitable for middle schoolers on up. I’d recommend this to fans of small press comics, especially those that also like fairy tales.