Sunday, March 15, 2015

Jinx: Little Miss Steps

Little Miss Steps is the second volume of Jinx, which is a young adult update of Li'l Jinx, a classic Archie back-up character. I loved the first volume, and this one is a worthwhile follow-up. The plot revolves around three major points: Jinx is having a tough time with her mother, there are baseball/softball tryouts, and there is a big dance coming up. Jinx hardly seems to see her mom, who is divorced from her father, because she works so much, and this absence is wearing on her. Part of the reason why is that her mom has a  huge issue to talk about with her, and (SPOILER COMING) she does not know exactly how to broach the issue that she is a lesbian with her daughter. I appreciated how well, sensitively, and realistically this whole conversation played out in the course of the book. Not everyone was OK with the situation, and they, the children and the adults, have multiple reactions. There were no pat answers, and in the end I liked how the various characters reacted to each other.
The other two issues in the plot are more minor, for sure, and act as YA subplots dealing with sexism, school politics, and young romance. The Jinx-Charlie-Greg triangle is still going strong, and it is refreshing to see young people who obviously care about each other but do not know exactly how to take each other interact. They make mistakes, are frequently clumsy, and seem like genuinely good people. Plus, there are lots of humorous situations along the way that make the story enjoyable.

This book was created by the same team as book one. Writer J. Torres has created various wonderful comics in the past, including the autobiographical The Copybook Tales, adventure stories starring Alison Dare, and other comics for the big two comics companies. Eisner Award-winning artist Rick Burchett is known for his work on Batman and Superman Adventures. Inker Terry Austin has worked with almost every major artist at every big company and is probably best known for his run on Uncanny X-Men. Their artistic collaboration is expert, accomplished, and it suits the tenor and tone of the story well.

All of the reviews I have read of this book have been complimentary. John Hogan wrote, "Everything plays out in a realistic manner without ever condescending to the reader, and Torres deserves credit for never missing a beat with the humor and levity that define these stories." Win Wiacek offered this praise, "Compellingly funny, gently heart-warming and deftly understated, this is book that will certainly resonate with kids and parents, offering genuine human interactions rather than manufactured atom-powered fistfights to hold your attention." Brian Cronin summed up his review, "It’s a great comic work and I hope Archie keeps making ‘em." Sadly, I have to say they have not yet offered another follow-up.

 Jinx: Little Miss Steps was published by Archie. Comic Book Resources offers a preview here.


  1. Love the Jinx series!! Really hope they do more!!

  2. I hope so, too. I really like how they honor the old strips in an updated setting.