“Cold Summer” by Jennifer Young

Cold Summer by Jennifer Young is a graphic novel that’s been sitting on my shelf since I was pregnant with 3.5yo Guppy. My friend Duff of Girl Reaction sent it with a bunch of other goodies, and I never got ’round to it, which is a shame, since it’s pretty good.

India is a 20-something southern belle sent to a camp in rural northern Minnesota by her mom so she can quit smoking. She’s immature and self-centered, but she’s also smart and funny, especially in how she deals with not smoking (she doesn’t not smoke) and her variety of campmates–an Asian lesbian, an African-American woman, a spookily quiet woman from Wisconsin and a Minnesota-nice group leader. Rural Minnesota’s a foreign land to India, who’s like a groomed poodle among lynxes. Her drawl and self-centeredness can be wearing, but they’re offset by glimmers of self-awareness and occasional peeks of insight into others.

At the end, India says her story isn’t over by a long shot. Yet I can’t find evidence of further volumes of the Cold Summer story. Jennifer Young and her book are no longer with Cute Girl Demographics, the publisher of the book. Instead, she’s done collections of her online comic.

In an extremely weird instance of confluence, Michael May reviewed this 2005 book at Comic World News just last week, on the same day I finished it. Apparently it leapt off both our shelves at the same time.

Cold Summer v. 1 is worth looking at and picking up if you see it, but not seeking out, as it seems to be a standalone that stops in the middle.

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