Part memoir and part comic book, this graphic novel interweaves stunning illustrations with journal entries, text messages, and photographic elements. With a bold red cover and racy images, it's a book that begs to be opened. It is extremely well put together, but what it exudes in style, it lacks in text and plot.
This coming of age erotic adventure features underdog heroine and author, Isobella Jade, a 5'4'' model who loses her innocence to the seedy-side of the glamour industry by posing in some very provocative situations, including a scandalous You-Tube video that has her kissing another girl. Sadly, Jade doesn't possess any superhero powers to aid her in success, but she is ready to give it her all.
The plotline of Model Life is not ideal: Jade does endure some struggles to reestablish her fallen image, but ends up only regaining her footing. A shoe billboard and decent agent is a bright light for the path ahead, but no glorious victory. Jade had much more attention, albeit the bad kind, at her lowest point, and this billboard and start of a modeling career came with the sacrifice of her college education.
I failed my advertising class. But whatever?I guess I'll have to retake it next semester. It's hard to be a student & try to be a model.”
Jade is right not to candy-coat her ignorance. This brave insight and realistic point of view provides an empowering factor for women. At times, though, it feels more geared towards a male's mind and some parts wouldn't be a bit out of place in Playboy. Sexuality will always be present in modeling, but there is a fine line between looking sexy and selling sex. Jade is doing a tight-rope walk between the two for most of the novel.
I enjoyed painting you last night.
I'm going to tell Maxim magazine about you.”
Model Life is a snippet from a model's perspective ? and what a snippet it is. The abrupt ending may leave the reader frustrated, but luckily, there is a very nice bio of both contributors on the back cover which pieces together more of the story. This would work well as a series of graphic novels, and since the drama was not quite resolved, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. By itself, it's a fun and sensual read, but it doesn't show any of the depth the author obviously has.
Nevertheless, I can't help but love any comic book geared towards gals. Illustrator Jazmin Ruotolo is amazing. The emotion and movement extended through her smooth lines instill belief in the heroine and the book could well have succeeded purely through her animated sketches. This edgy guide to life is a model must-have.