cover image Our Expanding Universe

Our Expanding Universe

Alex Robinson. IDW/Top Shelf, $19.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60309-377-4

Fourteen years after his acclaimed graphic novel Box Office Poison, Robinson returns with a new ensemble of New York City characters. Two couples and one bachelor navigate the difficulties of early middle age: infidelity, the decision whether to have babies, how to sustain a friendship through diverging worldviews, and dog care. One expectant couple is struggling financially and unsure; the other is facing cheating and animosity; and the aggressive, single nerd is perhaps morally above them all. Robinson is a genius at characterization, and masterly in weaving the friendships and relationships together; the players are so believable and real that readers will continue thinking about them long after the story concludes. His flexible inky figures and loose, askew panel borders reflect a world that the characters fully inhabit but can’t quite control. Discussions about the universe, which bookend chapters, are the one extraneous element, but Robinson never lets himself get far from what he does best: showing the heartbreak of characters trying to do their best. [em](Dec) [/em]