Scenes from an Impending Marriage: A Prenuptial Memoir

Adrian Tomine, Drawn & Quarterly, $9.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-77046-034-8
The sweet scenes in this little book are a contrast to the sometimes jaded tone of Tomine's work in the great Optic Nerve series and his previous books, Summer Blonde, Shortcomings, and Sleepwalk. Many have suspected an autobiographical subtext in those previous works, but this intimate tome is billed as the artist's "first nonfiction book." As such, it casts a gentle light on Tomine's nuptials and relationship with Sarah. The two are pictured discussing the guest list, DJ, seating arrangements—in short, all the nightmarish details of wedding planning—and throughout we see their personalities emerge. Adrian starts out insisting he doesn't really want to invite most of his friends, but then gets obsessed over every detail of the invitation's design. Meanwhile, Sarah navigates caterers, florists, and gift registries, fielding Adrian's oddball requests at every turn. We watch as the two get sucked into the vortex of wedding consumerism in spite of themselves. It's a familiar scene, but a sweet one, and the ending is as tender and satisfying as a wedding day should be. A lovely personal book from a great comics creator, and it's sure to end up getting unwrapped at many an engagement party. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Hardcover - 64 pages - 978-0-571-27770-4
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