In Reel Love: Act One we were introduced to a film-obsessed young boy and his deep love of the local older cinema. Reel Love: Act Two, starts during the teenage years. Now in his late teens, our main character is learning that in order to keep going he needs to get a job. After finding out his local cinema is really more of a one-man operation, he tries his luck with the Cinemadome Multiplex. He quickly finds out that the requirement for a job aren’t a love of film, but rather how many bags of rubbish one man can carry in the name of theater cleanliness. He also meets a beautiful young woman in love with the classic Universal Horror films. The two begin a relationship while the cast secretly makes their own film at night. However, not all goes according to plan and the entire staff finds themselves rethinking their lives.
Reel Love: Act Two is solid story telling by Owen Michael Johnson. True to the initial lines of the graphic novel, the sequel is in fact “darker than the original.” No longer is our main character playing in cardboard boxes and pretending to be in Star Wars; he is now experiencing the first harsh pangs of adulthood while still trying to maintain his passion for film.
Reel Love: Act Two is charming, but in different ways than Act One. The character feels more polished, more aware of his frustrations. He is starting to discover what he really wants out of life and knows that it’s not a straight shot to get there. I found myself remembering those painful moments of growing up. This graphic novel is engaging, beautifully done and a reminder that sometimes the path we choose does not go down one straight road.
Reel Love: Act Two is available from Changeling Studios.