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June 22, 2017

Indie Reviews: Serenity Rose: 10 Awkward Years

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Written by: Eric
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Serenity Rose: 10 Awkward Years
Publisher: SLG Publishing
Writer: Aaron Alexovich
Artist: Aaron Alexovich
Cover: Aaron Alexovich

Serenity Rose: 10 Awkward Years is a collection of three stories spanning 10 years in the telling.  It tells the story of a 22 year old, gay, introverted witch, not so much trying to find her way in the world but actively avoiding taking her place in it.  She lives in the town of Crestfallen, a tourist town that actively glorifies it’s rich history of being built and crafted by some of the most famous witches to ever walk the earth.  This makes Serenity, (Sera for short) much to her dismay, sort of a hometown hero and local celebrity.

Because 10 Awkward Years is such a huge book this review is going to have to be split into a few parts.

The first volume, “Working Through Negativity”, seems almost childlike in art style but spends it’s time deeply probing Sera’s mind and motivations, building the reader’s relationship with her on an almost intimate level (I have to note that the art style changes a lot after this volume).  Alexovich really wants the reader to know who Serenity Rose is as a person before taking the plunge into the typical superhero/super-villain formula that almost every other comic book is built on. After being convinced to go to a club by her friends, Sera’s forced into the spotlight after destroying it while defending the patrons from an artificially created vampire. After years of shunning fame she’s suddenly the most talked about witch in America.  Also a ghostly figure appears and begins to haunt Sera leaving her questioning whether her powers are getting out of her control.  With things spinning out of control Sera seeks the guidance of her idol, British witch and pop star Vicious Whisper.  With Vicious in her corner Sera begins to take hold of her role in the world and focus on developing her powers.

Serenity’s friends play a major part in all volumes of Serenity Rose: 10 Awkward Years most notably best friends Contessa “Tess” and Kelton.  Tess is easily my favorite character after Sera.  Acting as both the comic relief in the book, in a non-goofy but still incredibly hilarious way, and as a sort-of devil on Serenity’s shoulder style character.  She also serves as Sera’s loudest motivator.  Her incredibly blunt and loud opinions are often the catalyst for significant change in Sera and it’s interesting to wonder what kind of person Sera would be without Tess.  Kelton is more of a background character, his almost fanatical admiration of Sera causes him to follow her around like her shadow.  He he doesn’t speak much in volume one as any time Sera shows him attention he has tends to clam up in surprise and what can only be described as an anxiety attack.

Where did this book come from?  I’ve never been more happy to veer away from mainstream comics and try something new in my life.  Serenity Rose is a breath of fresh air, it’s got it all and a cast of characters who all have distinguishable voices and roles that not only round out the narrative but help to enhance the main character’s development as the story goes on.  Working through Negativity, largely serves as a setup for the remainder of the book.  In this fashion it’s kind of a slow burn focusing mostly on character development than anything else. The pages of “Working Through Negativity” are mostly rendered in bold black with the panels and artwork done in white. This may be more a way to further emphasize Serenity’s bleak outlook on life but I could be wrong.

Eric Snell
esnell@comicattack.net

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3 Comments


  1. klue

    So how big is this book if you’re splitting the review into two parts? Doesn’t sound like something I’d get at first but I do like vampires



    • The book is a huge hard cover beast! You could beat someone over the head with it and do some serious damage. Trying to condense the entirety of the contents to a single article was impossible. However, while the first volume in the collection was really good volumes 2 and 3 are a huge leap forward in both art style and narrative. That’s why the review had to be split.


      • klue

        looking forward to seeing what’s next then!



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