USA TODAY US Edition
Gossip world enters a new dimension
The webmaster fashionista of ‘Ann Tenna’ embarks on a cosmic journey of discovery
Any good online gossip columnist worth her millions of hits has a virtual Rolodex full of reliable sources. The title antiheroine of the graphic novel
Ann Tenna has a hotline to an even higher power.
New Yorker cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchet
to ( Cancer Vixen) skewers today’s media culture, takes readers on a psychedelic trip to the next level of existence and explores one woman’s connection to the cosmos in a modern meeting of The Devil Wears Prada, A Christmas
Carol and Xanadu. Ann suffers no fools or bad stories as the fashionable head of the all-seeing website Eyemauler, blogging and vlogging her way through the A-list New York City scene. Celebrities and co-workers alike are not big fans of hers personally but are afraid of the influence and power she wields from the viewpoint of the hidden camera in her Fendi purse.
Karma catches up to her, and Ann ends up on a literal astral plane to the afterlife — with wings and everything — after a horrific car accident. She then meets her goddess-like ideal self, named Superann, who has a deal for her: Regular Ann has things to take care of back on Earth, so Superann sends her on a mission “to transmit love and enlighten humanity” as a transmissionary. While Ann tries to be the best Ann she can, however, there is still the temptation of reverting to her old superficial self.
Marchetto has a lot to say about the younger generation — Ann has a stepsister whose comic-book word bubbles are all textspeak — and the world of red-carpet regulars and hangers-on.
The author also has a whipsmart and wry sense of humor and shows a serious bit of creativity by creating her own Superann font — her art gets very trippy. And since Ann has the same crackling red hair and is only a smidge shorter than her deity doppelganger, the little purple lettering with a ringed Saturn standing in for O’s goes a long way when it comes to readability.
Coco Chanel, Jimi Hendrix and Gianni Versace make cameos, and fashionistas are bound to find familiar material they might not uncover in other graphic novels. Yet Ann Tenna, as bitingly satirical as it is, has a touching, sweet and funny story starring a complex lady who loses her way and finds a universal chance to get her groove back.