Image Comics | Inclusive Press
(W) Tee Franklin (A) Jenn St-Onge (C) Joy San
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead!
It’s never too late for true love. There are many things to take away from Bingo Love, but it is that hopeful message which stuck with me. Throughout the roughly 90 pages of story, readers are taken on an emotional roller coaster ride that sees young love blossom and its heartbreak, the dullness of middle-adulthood, and the pure joy of finding true happiness when it is least expected. The result is something comics rarely ever cause: tears of joy.
Bingo Love lives and dies on the strength of its characters – specifically Elle, who serves as lead protagonist and narrator. Throughout the book, we experience the love Elle develops for her classmate, Mari. And for a book which takes place during the 1960s, we also get to experience the difficulty their love endured during that era.
As they are forced apart by norms of their era, we see that both Elle and Mari have lived their lives doing something that many people end up doing: settling. Despite having a loving family, Elle is never truly happy until she inevitably reconnects with Mari. Their second romance may be more complicated that their initial one, but it is satisfying nonetheless to see these two people together.
Throughout this review, I’ve referred to them as people, not characters. That speaks to the level of care and craftsmanship put into this graphic novel by the creative team. Tee Franklin’s script is full of natural dialogue, whether its flirtatious or antagonistic, which allows readers to fully buy into the story.
Bingo Love is an engrossing, touching love story. Elle and Mari are a beautifully written couple, so much so that we may want to revisit our list of top gay couples in comics. Whether you’re a fan of romance, progressive values, or just plain good storytelling, Bingo Love is for you. It is simply fantastic.