Sabrina

Nick Drnaso. Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95 (204p) ISBN 978-1-77046-316-5
In this graphic novel from a rising star in the indie comics scene, a young woman vanishes, leaving behind her grieving sister and lover. But this coolly despairing narrative focuses on a character only tangentially connected to the incident: Calvin, a divorced, sleeved-blanket-wearing Air Force technician who was friends with the boyfriend in high school. When Calvin agrees to let his old friend crash at his place, he becomes the target of vague, hostile conspiracy theories spread by internet cranks and late-night radio hosts. Like Drnaso’s debut, Beverly, the small, precise dramas of Midwestern suburban life are positioned against a larger canvas of contemporary paranoia, rumor-mongering, and violence. The art is characterized by simplified, blocky figures moving though meticulously measured geometric settings—Drnaso wears the influence of Chris Ware on his sleeve. But these comics are much talkier; interstitial, small square panels are filled with blocks of dialogue. The result is a well-crafted, if often frustratingly distant, indie drama, as if Drnaso is reluctant to let too much messy emotion into his careful dioramas. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/08/2018
Release date: 05/15/2018
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