Written by Andrew Rostan
Illustrated by Dave Valeza & Kate Kasenow
When overzealous film director Henry Barrons and jaded writer Jillian Webb are tasked with delivering a message for their dying friend Amelia, they find themselves on a cross country tour through both their lives as they face where they’ve been and who they are, bickering and disagreeing with each other the whole time as they try to fulfill Amelia’s last request. It’s a simple premise which An Elegy for Amelia Johnson hangs on, but it suffers from one critical flaw: you’ve already figured out how this is going to end.
Seriously. From that one paragraph, you’ve probably already figured out how this graphic novel ends. It makes no apologies for having a fairly standard fare ending. Instead, An Elegy For Amelia Johnson makes up for it with a quirky charm and a smile on it’s face, telling a story that you don’t mind already knowing how it ends. The characters are unique and fleshed out, and the basic premise (Henry and Jillian are delivering video messages to friends Amelia has been unable to say good bye to) is one that tugs at the heart strings. The art itself echoes the story with a style that appears at first simplistic, but upon further review suits the story perfectly.
In a world where comic books are still predominantly capes and villains, and primarily grim, gritty, dark, violent affairs, it’s nice to see a quiet graphic novel sneak it’s way out onto the playing field, one that aims to end your experience with it with a smile, rather than with a confused frown and days of thought as to the meaning. Despite it’s obvious ending, I can’t help but acknowledge that I enjoyed An Elegy for Amelia Johnson, and I find I’m perfectly content that it ended just the way it did.