What an odd ensemble of short graphic novel stories. This was another random find at the library, but it was such an intriguing yet unsettling read that I had to review it.
This volume contains four short stories in graphic novel form by Adrian Tomine, and I did enjoy all four of them. The main overwhelming emotion from these stories is loneliness. It’s a very relatable book, even if you personally haven’t been in the characters’ exact situations. Even though the characters are strange and outcasts, they have characteristics that every person has in some part of them, whether it’s a personality type or even just a feeling of not belonging. The entire time I read these stories, and even now afterwards, I felt unsettled and sad, but in a way I couldn’t really pinpoint (this may also be attributed to a long day at work, but due in part to this read at the very least).
The art style is simple, but this lends more attention to be paid to the emotions that are all over the place and the way in which characters are interacting. I felt sympathy for most of them, but at the same time I questioned a good amount of the things they did. It is obvious that Tomine is purposefully trying to make the reader feel something, and he is definitely successful.
Another interesting aspect to each story was the endings to them (don’t worry; there won’t be any spoilers!). I turned the page and saw that the story had ended on the page previous to it, but it was so sudden that I knew I wanted, and needed, more to it. This leads the reader into creating their own version of what may have happened next, which I really enjoyed. Because of this, the characters still ended up in a better situation, because I want to believe that things will always get better and I had hope for each character. The abrupt endings did give me a strange feeling right at that moment, but after sitting for a few minutes and thinking over the story, it helped. It also creates a more realistic feel, since real life doesn’t really have endings, and if a short story is only a snippet of one’s life, that story is likely to end in a really odd place.
I definitely recommend this if you are interested in strange or different graphic novels than we usually see, or even if you’re just looking for an intriguing read or want to feel some emotions.
Rating: 4/5 stars