Written and Illustrated by Axelle Lenoir
Published by Top Shelf Productions
Camp Spirit is an example of a graphic novel that I really wanted to like but just didn’t. It certainly had all of the things I usually like in my graphic novels. Heck, it is even published by Top Shelf Productions who put out some of the best graphic novels in the business. I found this however, to be one of their very rare clunkers.
Now you might say that this book wasn’t made for me. That may be true. But then I found it hard to figure out who it was made for. There are plots that would seem to be made for kids or young adults even. But there is language and some themes that make me think that is not the case at all.
And that is part of the problem.
Axelle Lenoir Is a terrifically talented illustrator. The writing however? It seems she is trying too hard.
Our main character Elodie is forced by her mother to work as a camp counselor for a summer. At first she doesn’t seem to fit in. But the kids that she is responsible for love her. And, of course, it turns out that she is rather good at the job, which is as predictable as can be.
The plot kind of goes all over the place. There is a supernatural mystery that is rather silly that happens. Elodie falls for another counselor as well who is female. That plot line is the only honest one in the book and is handled with power and grace. If only the rest of the book followed suit.
Camp Spirit could have been great. Unfortunately, the characters aren’t strong, the story meanders everywhere and it is rather unedited and unfocused.
I wanted this to be good. It was a colossal disappointment.