Sour Pickles

Clio Isadora. Avery Hill, $15.95 trade paper (84p) ISBN 978-1-910395-63-9
Isadora puts a black-humored spin on the graphic novel trope of a struggling art student in the big city in her frenetic, psychedelic debut tale of drugs and desperation. Pickles Yin is in her final year of art school in London, struggling to finish her senior project and facing the hard truth that most of her classmates are sheltered trust-fund kids while she, the child of a broke and chronically flaky new age mom (the family’s in debt because “I asked the universe and manifested being able to take out a loan!”), will actually have to secure a job post-graduation. She and her friend Radish order study drugs off the dark web and enter a twilight state of obsessive creative output and disengagement from reality. “I’m just living off supermarket brand energy drinks and speed,” Pickles declares as she’s pushed closer to the edge. The flat, abstracted art is initially rough but develops into an aesthetic teeming with busy settings and expressive characters. Figures twist and warp during the trippy drug sequences, and the coloring switches from black-and-white to rainbow-tinted pastels as the narrative mood dictates. Alternately whimsical and gritty, funny and tragic, and consistently finding new things to say about a well-trodden topic, this first outing’s a strong indicator of good things to come. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/29/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Comics
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