Unholy Kinship

Naomi Nowak, Author
Naomi Nowak, Author . NBM Comics Lit $9.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-56163-482-8
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Art history student Luca has an overly dramatic—yet somehow hollow—life. Her parents—prominent psychologists who did research on primates—are dead. Her sister is suffering from grave psychological problems that require round-the-clock care. And Luca is slowly but inexorably alienating her few remaining friends, leaving her ever more isolated. As she takes care of her sister, she begins to worry that she's losing her mind as well. Nowak is clearly a talent who will bear watching. She creates several interesting characters, knows how to establish a strong premise, and she's not afraid to follow a number of intersecting story lines. Most importantly, she is completely fearless about describing her character's difficult emotional states. Unfortunately, her ambition occasionally outstrips her storytelling abilities in this first effort. Payoffs frequently arrive too quickly after necessary information has been set up, and the revelations at the end of the story alternate between overly telegraphed and forced. Nowak's art, which has a soft, watercolor feel, shows flashes of talent, but bogs down in confusing layouts and awkward perspectives. Still, with its brave storytelling and painterly art, this should appeal to both small press fans and those who pride themselves on spotting talent "before they were stars." (Nov.)

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