This Will All End in Tears

Joe Ollmann, Author
Joe Ollmann, Author . Insomniac $16.95 (166p) ISBN 978-1-897178-06-5
Reviewed on: 10/02/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
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In Canadian artist Ollmann's new b&w collection, characters run the emotional gamut from loneliness to self-loathing and back again, with only the occasional flash of hope to light their way. Using a slightly grotesque style (bodies are generally lumpy, faces creased, mouths agape) in a tight and claustrophobic nine-panel pattern, Ollmann creates starkly told little worlds isolated in frozen angst. In "They Filmed a Movie Here Once," a devout and lonely young woman living in a small town falls for a mysterious drifter; in "Big Boned," a fat woman fights social invisibility. "Day Old" and "Oh Dear" are less successful, trading in fairly stock situations that may have made for a decent college workshop short story, but are too undeveloped to stand on their own. Ollmann finishes things off well with the final story, "En Retarde (Delayed)," about Dennis, a mechanic from a rabidly dysfunctional family (which he's tried to escape) who is forced to take care of his slow older brother when his alcoholic mother ends up in the hospital. There's not a lot of uplift here amid the shame and self-flagellating guilt, but more than enough uncompromising honesty to fill an entire book. (Nov.)

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