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‘Getting it Together #1 & #2’ (review)

Written by Omar Spahi, Sina Grace
Art by Jenny D. Fine
Published by Image Comics

 

As a Sometimes Online Person, one of the things I see go around Twitter often is that (1) Friends was super-white and (2) if only there were some version of this with people of color.

Someone else will then remind everyone that Living Single – the Queen Latifah vehicle following four young Black female professionals and their ups and downs with careers and romance – existed before Friends. Others then speculate that Friends ripped off Living Single, next.

(I lived through all this already, kids. And, for the record, at the time I equated Living Single more with Designing Women than anything else. Ahem.)

Reading through the first two issues of Getting It Together, it’s easy to think, “Friends but with brown people, indie rockers and San Francisco in the 2020 that isn’t a plague-ridden hellscape.” After all, the cover image features our story’s characters posing by a fountain with a very Central Perk-looking couch.

At the center of the story are Jack and Lauren, a pair of Persian-American siblings. Jack is a graphic designer, gay, and forever on the dating apps and getting lucky. Lauren is leader of an up-and-coming indie rock band named Nipslip (good grief) who’s hunting down the big time and will run over her bandmates, Annie and Ashton, if need be.

Lauren’s going through a break-up with Sam, a romantic and immature designer who’s best friends with Jack, after she slept with bandmate Ashton. Except she and Sam were opening up their relationship, but the rendezvous still was unsanctioned, so …

Yeah, it’s a lot.

These characters are like real people, I swear. I’ve known folks like them.

However, the dialogue also left me feeling like these are the kinds of real people I mostly see in fiction about twenty-somethings. They’re brimming with snappy repartee; packed to the gills with casual, easy sex, and totally willing to spill all details about it; and woke enough to earnestly use terms such as “triggered” and “slut-shaming” in verbal, not-online conversation.

Sure, 40-year-old me wants to yell at these characters to get over themselves already. I’d hate to see their memes about the election, most likely.

Yet I can’t say I didn’t know these people in my 20s. I know some of those twenty-somethings now. And the other twenty-somethings are now forty- and fifty-somethings! Many of them have remained the same, too, just older and settled in their unsettledness.

Creators/writers Sina Grace and Omar Spahi are onto something with this Getting It Together crew. It’s a little too self-aware at times, such as editor’s notes explaining Afterburn and what BART stands for. Or Jenny D. Fine drawing one of Jack’s sex scenes with condoms and lube in the foreground, with lettering that reads, “This page brought to you by … Safe Sex.”

Through two issues, it’s clear that Lauren has some issues beneath that driven exterior to unpack. Sam will have a lot more growing up to do. And Jack will need to find an identity that’s his own and not based on his relationships with other people – whether sibling, best friend, or Tinder/Grindr/Scruff app dates and hookups.

I’m intrigued to see where the story goes. At times it feels like a cocktail of a 21st-century, queer-informed Minimum Wage mixed with Artbabe elements, and an FX or Hulu show.

If there’s one thing I know, there’s a lot more it for these folks to get together.

 

 

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