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Hopeless Savages [Paperback]

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Item description for Hopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter...

Family ties are the earliest ties that bind, setting the tone for the paths we will take in our future. So what if your father is Dirk Hopeless and your mother Nikki Savage, a superstar couple from the days of punk rock? When you're born a rebel, what can you possibly do to make yourself stand apart? For Rat Hopeless-Savage, the answer is to leave home and become a normal citizen with a nine-to-five job!

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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.42" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.29"
Weight:   0.37 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 15, 2002
Publisher   Oni Press
ISBN  1929998244  
ISBN13  9781929998241  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery & Horror > Children's Comics
2Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > General
3Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > General
4Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue
5Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy
6Books > Subjects > Teens

Reviews - What do customers think about Hopeless Savages?

Zero's first love  May 29, 2007
For some reason all the previous reviews are for Hopless Savages volume 1. So here's a review that's actually about volume 2.

But first, need-to-know backstory: Punk rock singers Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Savage got married and had kids (so the kids actually are the Hopeless-Savages). Their kids are now in their late teens/early twenties. The boys are Rat Bastard and Twitch Strummer, and the girls are Arsenal Fierce and Skank Zero.

This story is mainly about Zero, the youngest, who is now seventeen. Boys are starting to discover her and she's starting to discover that teenage boys tend to have only one thing on their mind. The punk rock attitude she inherited from her parents seems to make the boys think that she's easy which really pisses her off. But then she meets a boy who actually likes her for her, and she finds that she likes him back. So, of course, it seems that the world is conspiring against her.

Meanwhile Zero and the rest of the Hopeless-Savage family are being filmed for a documentary and find their lives disrupted accordingly. Also Zero and her band the Dusted Bunnies need to practice for their gig at Homecoming. And Nikki Savage, rebellious teenager though she was, now finds herself acting like a fascist Mom whether she wants to or not whenever Zero misbehaves.

The story, written by Jen Van Meter is pretty solid, although it bounces through time a bit much (the bulk of the story is being narrated by Zero to a panel of teachers who are ready to expel her from school, then there are flashbacks which take off from the sequences Zero is narrating). The chemistry between Zero and the boy is a lot more real than in a lot of movies I've seen lately. The often quirky family dynamic is well played.

The majority of the artwork is by Bryan Lee O'Malley. He has sort of rough and cartoony style which I'm not normally drawn to (no pun intended), but it works with these characters. The flashback sequences are by a number of different artists. Andi Watson's piece is sort of a rough and simplified version of his work on things like Geisha. Christine Norrie's artwork is pretty solid. Chynna Clugston-Major (Blue Monday) is okay, but I had some trouble telling the characters apart.

Overall I enjoyed this volume. The story is much more accessible than the previous volume, and it really captures the awkwardness and frustrations of being a teenage outcast in love.
Scooby Doo meets The Incredibles  Jan 7, 2006
The first four issues of the ensemble comic book series are collected here along with a few other tidbits. The light-as-a-feather story is about a pair of British punk parents and their four offspring. Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Savage were punk icons who met, married, and toured off into the sunset, making enough money off their records to settle into a comfy suburban existence and raise four kids. The story starts with three of the four grown and moved out, and the youngest rocking out on guitar. In fact, she rocks out so much that she doesn't hear the skinheads who break in and kidnap her parents...

Punkette Zero wakes up to find the house trashed and starts rallying her siblings to find and rescue her parents. Soon her sexy quasi-goth sister Arsenal and gay neo-mod brother Twitch are on the scene, and they resolve to track down their estranged brother Rat, who years ago abandoned his spiked hair and leather jacket for button down shirts and khakis. It doesn't take them long to find him living the nice corporate life at a Starbucks-like coffee company. For reasons that never really make sense, they feel the need to "deprogram" him (even though he seems to be quite happy in his new life), in order to get his help finding the parents. From here, the plot is kind of Scooby Doo meets The Incredibles, as the foursome follow the obvious clues to track the villain down, rescue their parents, and foil his plot to steal one of their father's pre-punk songs.

It's all kind of cute and fun, but of course has no relation (other than costumes) to punk. The parents seem more like rock stars than punks, and indeed, live like affluent upper-middle class people, complete with private schools for the kids. The whole subplot about "deprogramming" Rat is never justified in any way, and actually, the family's insistence that Rat be "punk" comes off as more fascistic than anything else. Of course it's not supposed to be realistic or anything, just a light entertainment, which is what it is. Kind of amusing for those of us who grew up listening to The Ham, The Clash, Buzzcocks, and other mainstream '70s-'80s Brit stuff. Tacked on at the end are several short stories which introduce characters who play larger roles later in the series.
Ridiculous  Jul 4, 2004
This book is chocked full of stupid old UK punk cliches, some of them seem to have more in common ground with glam rock than with punk (the Savage parents for instance.) Evil skinheads, the aesthetic mod, some token goth, and the rock star *cough* err punk rock parents. And they are all related by blood. Oh yeah don't forget the brother who sold out and got a job and gave up wearing a leather jacket and spiking his hair up, blah blah...

Just another stupid, cliche glamorization of punk rock "as it used to be". Ultimately this just all dwindles down to bad writing combined with pop sensible art work. It all stinks of the decadence of the Reagan/Thatcher era society that the punk scene was trying to distance itself from.

Ultimately boring and dumb... Maybe if some sense of reality of how things were back then with all the downsides and failings it would have been interesting, but I think that went over the head of the person who wrote this.

Coffee-Filtered Punk  Jan 9, 2004
Collecting issues #1-4 of the similarly-named comic book series, Jen Van Meter's "Hopeless Savages" is a fun read, if not exactly cerebrally challenging.

Ma & Pa are kidnapped by a vengeful figure from their punk-rockin' past in an attempt to steal away a song secretly written by Dad (Dirk Hopeless). The kids, through whom both aging rockers have been living precariously, have no choice but to rescue them on their own - their whereabouts pinpointed through an unlikely series of events and characters who all but draw a roadmap for the four offspring.

The story is obviously not Pulitzer material, just as it has failed to give any great recognition to the hundreds of likewise-based cartoons and children's fiction previously available. Yet, it is the involved character development and captivating artwork which prove to be the saving graces of "Hopeless Savages."

The book is certainly worth a read or two, especially for those young enough to appreciate the plot details on the level in which they were intended.

Best book of 2002!  Mar 26, 2003
Jen Van Meter's first creator-owned book tells a story of an in-your-face, punk rock family living in today's society, illustrated by Christine Norrie (CHEAT) with flashback sequences by Chynna Clugston-Major (BLUE MONDAY) and additional artwork by Andi Watson (DUMPED, BREAKFAST AFTER NOON).

The book introduces the reader to Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Savage, two legendary punk rockers from the 1970's, now living in the present day with their youngest daughter Zero. When Zero wakes up one morning to find their house ransacked and her parents allegedly kidnapped, she calls up her older brother and sister Twitch and Arsenal for help. They soon realize they won't be able to find their parents without the help of their older brother Rat, who has given up the punk lifestyle and now lives a life of normalcy working for a premier coffee corporation. Rat, however, wants nothing to do with his estranged family and is convinced he has left the punk rock lifestyle behind, forever. Now its up to Zero, Arsenal and Twitch to revert Rat to his old ways and rescue their parents from their captors.

Jen Van Meter's writing is excellent and by the end of the book you really know these characters. You'll immediately want to pick up the second book, GROUND ZERO which focuses more on Zero.

The book uses flashbacks incorporated into the main story illustrated by Chynna Clugston-Major to give you even more insight into this unique family. The book also includes a bonus 16 page full-color section featuring stories of the Hopeless-Savages kids visiting the Principal's office and how their punk rock father reacts to it (illustrated by Chynna Clugston-Major), the family going to the kid's school's parent/teacher night (illustrated by Christine Norrie), Arsenal's karate match (illustrated by Norrie with Andi Watson), and a look into the Hopeless-Savages family over a span of 20 years through the eyes of their neighbors (illustrated by Norrie).

Before The Osbournes were popular, there was HOPELESS SAVAGES - a hilarious adventure story by four of comics' most promising new writers and artists. The most critically acclaimed book of 2002, it was even nominated for an Eisner Award.


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