about half of all gamers are female. In addition, eruptions such as Gamergate show that in many ways female gamers are sometimes the target of misogynist agendas. Even though such ugliness is not overtly referenced here, it is in the background of this graphic novel, In Real Life. The protagonist here is Anda, a teenaged D&D fan who is inspired by a guest speaker at school to try playing a MMORPG.
farming that is happening in the game. Anda likes the camaraderie that comes with joining this group and also enjoys the sensation of making this world a more equitable place while also making some actual money when she gets paid for completing these missions.
This ambitious and beautifully drawn book is a collaboration between Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang. Doctorow is an award winning author of multiple YA books, including Little Brother and Homeland, a blogger, and the co-editor of Boing Boing. Wang is an artist and illustrator, and her debut graphic novel was Koko Be Good. I love her artwork, with its flowing lines, cool pastel colors, emotive characters, and fun energy. Both creators speak about their work on In Real Life in this interview.
All of the reviews I have read about this book lean to the positive. Chris Taylor offered his opinion that "they’ve shoehorned rather too much into the story for this to be
entirely effective," but added that it "is a powerful narrative
nonetheless." Kelly Thompson summed up that it was "a socially relevant, heartfelt and emotionally
engaging story about a female gamer that will likely inspire and
encourage generations of awesome girls." Jonah Gregory wrote, "It’s an enjoyable read and the messages it wants to convey aren’t so heavy handed as to be distracting."
In Real Life was published by First Second, who provides a preview and much more here.