Note: This book is on sale February 17, 2015.
Let me start out by saying the fact that I'm sometimes called "G-Man" and the existence of Chris Giarrusso's G-Man character is pure coincidence. I first became aware of Giarrusso's work from his MINI MARVELS comics at Marvel. Upon first meeting him, I discovered the awkward coincidence I was going by the same name as a character he created (and owned the copyright to). He's had several G-MAN comics and now we have what will hopefully be the first of many G-Man SUPER JOURNALs.
This isn't a pure comic book. The format might seem a little familiar. The book opens by mentioning there was another kid in another school that kept a journal and now they're "copying him" in G-Man's English class. He has to keep an ongoing journal and this allows us to find out his complete story.
This book has writing as well as pictures. The idea is G-Man is drawing the pictures (or sometimes tapping newspaper clippings and such) inside the journal. If you were a kid and had to keep a journal, adding pics is a great way to fill up the pages. This combination gives us Giarruso's art as well as allows the story to become more in depth.
If you've read any of the G-MAN comics before, you'll know some of the information contained. This book, since it's the first volume, actually takes place before he gained his superpowers. If you have no idea how he got them, you're in for an extra treat. We also discover the meaning behind his name. Even though this starts out before the moments we've seen in the comics, there was still a lot of facts about G-Man and his friends you can discover (I never knew what Tanman's real name was).
Another great thing from the G-MAN comics is his friends and cast of characters. They're all here. Giarrusso never fails to make me (and my daughter) laugh. There's always some sort of crazy situation that comes up. The inclusion of the classroom setting also gives something you can probably relate to. We've all had some of these situations come up--except for the ones involving superpowers, of course.
Like other journal books you may have seen, there is that narrative present that does give the feeling of following an actual journal. It's a way to reflect on the characters thoughts and there's plenty of humorous situations that arise.
The main difference here is the superhero angle. In G-Man's world, superpowers do exist. He also loves comics. We get that mix of reality and fiction along with his commentary and thoughts. Because the journal is taking place from a middle schooler's perspective, you get that...unique insight on things.
It's not just black and white though.
There are occasional pages with colored images. This is an example of an item that G-Man tapped into his journal.
My daughter is eleven now. She loves the G-MAN comics and has read a few of the other journal type books available. Because I got an advanced copy from the publisher, we were both able to read this already. She gobbled it up. That's part of the beauty of an all-age book. There were plenty moments that made me laugh and some I could relate to. Seeing my daughter read it and laugh and having her describe scenes that she really enjoyed was fantastic.
This is a book everyone can enjoy. If you have kids or younger siblings, it's a great way to get them to read. Reading is important. Plus, with the superhero angle in this book, it's another way to get kids involved in the comics medium. I loved this book and I will definitely read it again. That is, if I can get it back from my daughter. I think we'll just need to have two copies in the house.
If you want to check out more of the book, there is a fifteen-page preview on Chris G's website.