I finally got a chance to read Joe Canzano’s Magno Girl. I have it in good old fashioned paper-back form because I’m old-school that way. I’ve known Joe for a while now…well about as good as you can know someone you’ve never seen in the “real-world”. Email and Blog-Posts CAN sometimes go a long way.
He’s a great guy & a talented musician. When I heard he had written a book…and that book featured a super-hero I knew I had to read it. And of course I had to have my own hard-copy. So here is the part of the review where I show off my personally autographed paper-back:
If you think my prior relationship with Joe will in anyway make this critique biased in his favor then you would of course be correct! I wanted to love it before I even opened it! Fortunately I can absolutely report to you with a clear conscious that it IS good. Very good. It wasn’t at all hard for me to love this mess of a fun novel! What’s NOT to love? It’s got super-heroes, nefarious plots, epic battles (many involving food and appliances) ninjas and even a little sex. And it all takes place in New York.
The NYC atmosphere as depicted in Magno Girl seems spot on to me. And I am QUITE the NYC expert as I am typing this from Southern Indiana in a house literally surrounded by cornfields and Kentuckians. My knowledgebase of NYC lore come in equal part from Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Marvel comics and Woody Allen. So yeah I KNOW New York City! 🙂
The story and narrative start out a little slow but as the book approaches the halfway point the pace picks up several clicks and doesn’t stop for anything as it roars to its conclusion. And what a satisfying conclusion it IS. There is a certain charm to the first half as we learn about Magno-Girl’s supporting cast of characters. Her boyfriend Ron (also the narrator of the story) is a little rough around the edges but ultimately a really good (albeit flawed) guy. She teaches (and nurtures) several inner-city kids at her Martial Arts Dojo. These humanizing details offset the over the top mayhem of the world around them. Like the Marvel Universe of the Avengers films (and comics) this is a world where super-heroes are REAL…only here they take licensing deals and appear in cheesy TV commercials. But not Magno Girl! She will never sell out! Or will she? I can’t give it all away you must read it and see for yourself.
For me the book is a little reminiscent of Buckaroo Banzai (1984) -at least in tone. . It also reminds me a bit of the more recent Kick-Ass (2010) and maybe a sprinkle of UHF (1989) insofar as zaniness! The plots and characters are completely original in Magno Girl. Again I am mostly talking about over-all tone. A comic series also comes to mind -Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers. . I loved Magno Girl and I would enjoy seeing a big-budget film treatment one day…or at least a nice subversive Adult Swim series!
Go get Magno Girl today, you won’t be disappointed: