Good As Lily
It seems as though every one of us has fantasized about what it would be like to go back in time and change something about our lives. Derek Kirk Kim and Jesse Hamm's "Good As Lily" explores this idea in Minx's newest release. The concept had me hooked from the very first time I heard it announced at Minx's first panel at New York Comic Con 2007 -- an 18-year-old Grace Kwon is visited by versions of herself at ages 6, 29, and 70 at a turning point in her life.
Kim has been quoted as describing "Good as Lily" to be his contribution to the genre of 80's and 90's teen movies -- a fitting category, revealing many a relatable coming-of-age story. The book's quirky premise and style could have been easily construed into that all-too-easy "...and wackiness ensued" type of storytelling. True, there is a fair bit of wackiness ensuing, but its simple demeanor disguises a story that touches on some rather poignant sentiments. Regret, loss, nostalgia, innocence -- truly visceral subject matter that Kim is able to masterfully display in one personality, spread out over a lifetime of what is essentially a person's inner monologue wrenched out and forced onto comic book pages.
From the instinctual Id-like naivete of 6-year-old Grace to the jaded 70-year-old crone trying to slowly destroy herself through careless substance abuse, the reader is impacted full-force by lessons of the coming of each age of Grace's life coalescing into one intense bout of conflict and self-reflection. If we could all meet versions of ourselves at different ages, perhaps we would be better off for receiving the opportunity to recapture both the idealism of our youth and the wisdom of our adulthood.
*Alice Meichi Li
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