Strays

Chris W. Kim. SelfMadeHero, $19.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-910593-99-8
A nameless man in a nameless city tries to find a purpose for his drifting life in this ghostly graphic novel by Kim (Herman by Trade), who opens things elliptically, showing glimpses of a drilling accident that appears to have devastated an entire town. A survivor seeks refuge, moving in with his sister Carey and looking for a job. With scant history provided and few interests, the protagonist appears relieved to find work as a delivery driver, telling Carey, “I missed the routine.” His emptiness is staved off only as he starts running into other acquaintances from home, now trying to get by, and he decides to care for these strays. But they don’t seem to be as keen on his help or as interested in him as he is in them. Rendered as a shadowy, unspeaking, and somewhat looming crowd of stoic laborers, the strays lose their jobs and end up following the man mutely to various shelters while waiting passively for new employment. Kim’s closely hatched, woodcutlike etchings render even simply drawn scenes into dramatic, often haunting visions. This eerie metaphor for modern isolation hits its subject squarely, but the sense of disconnection felt by Kim’s cast may keep readers similarly at bay. Despite some missteps, this story of lonely purposelessness will hit close to home for many in pandemic times. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 11/12/2021
Release date: 02/01/2022
Genre: Comics
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