I’ve been wanting to pick up the Saved by the Bell graphic novel for so long since its release. I was gifted it at Christmas by one of my friends and I’ve only just found the time to sit with it for a whole afternoon. Saved by the Bell was one of my favourite TV shows growing up (and still now, I won’t lie about my crush on 90’s Zach Morris) and reading this was definitely a blast from the past!
Title: Saved by the Bell
Author: Chynna Clugston Flores
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantagraphics, TV
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publication Date: 16th July 2015
Summary: It’s alright, ’cause we’re Saved by the Bell! All your favorite characters – Zack, Slater, Kelly, Lisa, Screech, and Jessie (and Mr. Belding, of course!) – are back at Bayside High for freshman year, trading in brick phones and mullets for iPhones and Twitter accounts. Does Lisa’s fashion show get on the air, and will Screech ever leave her alone? Will Jessie get that A+? And, most importantly, who’s Kelly going to go out with – preppy Zack or new star athlete A.C. Slater?
Saved by the Bell is the story of 6 friends who attend an American high school. Each episode on TV was a different adventure they’d get up to or trouble they’d face. The running story was Zach trying to date the hottest girl in school, Kelly. It was cheesy, loveable and absolutely perfect 90’s drama.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going in to the graphic novel of one of my favourite TV shows. Admittedly it’s been some time since I have sat down and watched an episode, but the characters made everything come flooding back. The theme, characters, places and general feel of the story was exactly the same as I remembered and it was a very nostalgic read.
The one thing I really enjoyed about this graphic novel was how it was split up. I wasn’t sure of the layout to begin with as it was split in to separate stories, much like episodes are in a series. But really it made for a constantly interesting read and it would be the perfect graphic novel to pick up and read 10 pages of. It’s definitely something you can get through fast.
Although I enjoyed it immensely, there was one aspect of it which made me almost cringe. As it is based around a 1980/90’s drama, there’s a lot of sexist points, or points that we wouldn’t necessarily agree with today. My 7 year old brain thought nothing of it years ago, but now I wish they’d brought it a little more up to date.
If you want something that has incredible art work, is pretty retro and doesn’t have much action in the storyline, the Saved by the Bell graphic novel is definitely for you! I’ve found with graphic novels that I like to split up the super heroes with something a little more tame and down to earth, that’s obviously my own personal taste though.
My one final point about this absolutely fantastic collection of stories is that if you never have seen the TV show you probably wouldn’t enjoy the graphic novel. For previous fans of it, it’s a great nostalgic experience. However if you’ve never seen it, don’t bother.