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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Reader's Diary #1690- Katherena Vermette (writer), Scott B. Henderson (artist): A Girl Called Echo Vol. 1

It was difficult not to compare Katherena Vermette's A Girl Called Echo, Volume 1 of the Pemmican Wars series to David Alexander Robertson's graphic novels also published by Highwater Press and also illustrated by Scott B. Henderson. (There are even references to some of these collaborations in the book.)

While I enjoyed Robertson's books, I wasn't always a fan of the frame stories. Often they felt unnecessary. Interestingly, I almost found the opposite problem with Vermette's A Girl Called Echo: the frame story was more compelling than the other.

Echo is a teenage Métis girl who lives in some sort of home for youth, and visits her mother on occasion, who also lives in some sort of facility. At school Echo has at least one friend and seems unaware that she is being judged and mocked by some of her classmates. Largely she lives inside her own head, listening to (some pretty awesome) early 90s rock music on her iPod. She daydreams periodically about finding herself in another time, during the Pemmican Wars (early 1800s). At least, one is left to assume it is daydreaming; perhaps later it will be revealed that it is some sort of time-traveling magic. 

As you may have guessed by the description above, it's a very character-driven book and at only 44 pages, that means there is less room for a major story to develop. It's a small complaint, but I think this would be better as a full-length graphic novel rather than a series of short comics. Nonetheless, I am sure many will find Echo endearing enough to tune in again.

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