written by J. Torres
illustrated by Terry Austin and Rick Burchett
Little Jinx is about to turn 14. And thus, she’s beginning a new life in high school…if only she can find something to wear.
Actually, that’s the least of her problems, as she finds herself not exactly fitting in as well as she’d hoped in her new school: First, the principal confiscates her cell phone, then she spends lunch at the geek table, and, perhaps worst of all, she doesn’t have any classes with her friends.
J. Torres (Lola: A Ghost Story, Alison Dare) crafts an imminently likable character in Jinx. She lives with her father, who struggles to understand his young daughter while maintaining a good sense of humor, which is necessary when dealing with a character like Jinx. She’s spunky and rather delightfully perky, even while complaining about her new school, which she does a lot. She does rash, bold things, like try out for the football team (against everyone’s, including her father’s, wishes) and kiss Greg, her best friend since kindergarten. That these things don’t work out quite the way she planned is part of the pleasant surprises the book offers.
Since she was first introduced in Archie Comics in the 1940s, Jinx has been a precocious 8-year-old with a tomboy streak a mile long. She keeps that ferociousness as a teenager, and it’s nice to see. The stories, which unfold over four chapters, are never too deathly serious, but they still manage to convey a maturity that will appeal to tween and younger readers of today. Most of the serious side of the book comes about in the aforementioned football tryouts and the kiss, but one particularly pivotal scene hinges on a jealous classmate finding out about Jinx and Greg’s kiss and writing some very unflattering words about Jinx in the boys’ bathroom. It’s handled well, and deftly, without glossing over Jinx’s shock and the hurt she feels at seeing it.
The art, by Rick Burchett, is wonderfully energetic. He finds a nice balance between cartoonish and serious, nicely blending the story’s themes through his pencils. And seeing Terry Austin’s redoubtable inks employed once again on a group of students is a real treat.
Jinx looks to be a very successful relaunch for Archie Comics and reintroduces a character young readers will really enjoy getting to know. Future issues promise to deliver a rich and entertaining story centered around a girl we all can’t help rooting for.