This graphic novel was originally a webcomic created by Ngozi Ukazu that later got picked up and published by 01First Second at Macmillan.
This is the story of Eric Bittle (Bitty) — former junior figure skating champion, vlogger, pie baking freshman who is part of Samwell University’s hockey team.
Starting university our gay protagonist makes new friends, makes unforgettable bonds and falls in love (with the very handsome broody captain).
Aside from the beautiful plot that deals with being a freshman, making friends, falling in love, facing your fears and working as a team, my favorite part of “Check, Please!” was the art style. Most noticeably Ms. Ukazu’s gradual transformation of Bitty’s physic and how he presents himself. It reminded me of how Edward Elric grew up in Fullmetal Alchemist, but it was slow and subtle that you don’t notice it until you watch the first episode and then the last episode. Bitty went to the same slow physically growing up transformation and it was brilliant.
Even though this is a “hockey story” anyone with negative zero knowledge of hockey (like myself) is able to pick on the rules of the game. Because ultimately we, the reader, are also Bitty’s youtube audience and he treats us as such. He makes sure to explain hockey to us as he tells his story and it felt really natural. After all, Mr. vlogger knows that not everyone in his audience has hockey knowledge.
Ms. Ukazu also created a beautiful cast of character. Each one lovable, relatable and a precious cinnamon bun. No one is just there, everyone has a purpose, a personality, and a well-developed character arc.
While this obviously a work of fiction Ms.Ukazu’s novel felt natural and realistic. No dialogue or scene felt forced…ever. I am sooooo ready for book two! (Even though I’ve already read Junior year online hehe).
Check, Please was sweet and addictive. It’ll keep you hooked until you get to the last page. In the last page, you’ll scream.
I’d like to thank Is for lending me the graphic novel (which I later made my tall bean buy me a copy of cause I loved it so much). Is is also a blogger you can check her out at https://thewrittenvoiceofis.wordpress.com/
My Rating: 5/5
By Ngozi Ukazu