cover image 920London


Remy Boydell. Image, $17.99 (136p) ISBN 978-1-5343-1504-4

The first solo graphic novel by Boydell (The Pervert) presents an intimate slice of alternative LGBTQ culture. In a London suburb, two trans girls room together, go clubbing together, and sometimes hook up. Hana, a quiet goth, plans to self-medicate her mental issues by growing shrooms in the bathroom; Kiki, a brittle scenester kid, scrambles for music stardom after her ex-boyfriend’s band makes it big. The characters are drawn as gently cartoony anthropomorphic animals—Hana and Kiki have Snoopy-shaped faces, while Kiki’s ex looks like a goth Garfield—which adds an unsettling edge to all the sex, drugs, and young-adult despair. “Happy people don’t start believing in the end of the world,” reflects Hana, but she and Kiki seem forever poised on the brink of an indefinite personal apocalypse. Boydell’s soft but bright watercolors infuse the angst-ridden narrative with unexpected beauty, and the settings—clubs, house parties, the cluttered apartments of hip, broke 20-somethings—are packed with well-observed details. The book sometimes feels like an extended dual character sketch rather than a narrative, but its easy, meandering pace evokes the protagonists’ fumbling search for direction. Raw, darkly funny, and deceptively lovely, it’s an enjoyable work from an up-and-coming artist. [em](Apr.) [/em]