Uptight

Jordan Crane. Fantagraphics, $10 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-60699-798-7
This ongoing anthology series, which includes stories from Crane’s (The Clouds Above) webcomic of the same name, mixes jarring emotional surrealism with clear, accessible pen work; this latest issue explores mortality. The first story, “Keeping Two,” connects two narratives of three people whose stability has been shattered by death. In one, William grapples with the death of his wife. In the other, suicidal Claire clings to the lifeline of a troubled pregnancy. Claire’s story is presented as a book that William reads to get his mind of his own troubles, not expecting it to be such a dour drama. Other stories cover a psychotic episode that leads to a cycle of murder, and a bungled space mining mission that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of disaster, rendered in an otherworldly lavender. The common link here is Crane’s portrayal of psychological space as an unpredictable netherworld that mixes our fears, sorrows, and immediate surroundings into a barely comprehensible prison, one made accessible thanks to Crane’s clean, down-to-earth drawing style. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/08/2016
Release date: 02/01/2016
Genre: Comics
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