‘Club Love’ provides sweet entertainment

Kira Lubahn

There’s something exciting about comics. When I was little, I’d get excited about reading ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ and ‘FoxTrot’ in the newspaper. It’s a medium of storytelling I’ve always been fond of, so when I discovered webcomics existed in junior high, I was hooked.
Since then, some of the webcomics I’ve followed have gone on hiatus or mysteriously stopped updating entirely. A few of my favorites are still putting up new material every week, and a couple have even been completed.
‘Club Love’ by Rose Abernathy is one of those finished webcomics.
To quote the website’s plot summary, the comic is “about a group of high school students with special powers who help others find true love.” Expanding upon this, the story-line centers around Cora, an incoming high school freshman. Her mom was a member of Club Love when she was in school, so Cora gets to be a part of the secret club as well. The reader follows Cora as she gets used to the demands of high school and starts working on her first few Club Love missions.
The comic is meant to be light. It isn’t an overly dramatic tale of the trials and tribulations of high school relationships, and was never supposed to be. ‘Club Love’ is fun and sweet, and doesn’t worry about how a club that plays matchmaker for a whole school isn’t realistic. Yes, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is necessary, but that’s true of any fictional story. The ‘Club Love’ universe is unrepentantly cute and occasionally mushy, but that’s part of it’s undeniable charm.
Besides creative plots, another aspect that I like about webcomics is the opportunity they give me to see how an artist evolves. While I love the simple drawings that ‘Club Love’ starts with, I like the art it ends with even more. The comic is only 250 pages long, but it’s incredible to compare the one-colored art in strip #9 to the multi-colored art in strip #183. Abernathy gets more adventurous and confident with her drawings as the comic goes on, and the last strip is especially impressive when compared to ‘Club Love’s humble beginnings, though it has too many spoilers on it for me to encourage someone to go take a peek without reading the rest of the comic first.
Besides the obvious improvement in visuals, Abernathy experimented with storytelling techniques for the sixth chapter. Instead of comics, she created three Flash games for the reader to play. The graphics are clean, the controls are easy to understand, and the songs that play in the background are charming.
In the end, ‘Club Love’ is good for a few hours when one doesn’t want to focus on something serious, but something light and happy. It’s an enjoyable read, all the more so because of the striking improvement in artistic skill. If comics and adorable story-lines sound appealing, give Abernathy’s ‘Club Love’ a try.
By Kira Lubahn