cover image The Lonesome Era

The Lonesome Era

Jon Allen. Iron Circus Comics, $30 (422p) ISBN 978-1-945820-38-0

Camden, a cat, spends his time outside of high school stargazing, skate boarding, and listening to death metal with his best friend, Jeremiah. For his part, Jeremiah casually uses gay as an insult and is good at finding ways to get into trouble in their small town; his bad ideas lead the more cautious Camden to try drinking, weed, stealing, and fighting, with dramatic results for Camden. Set in the 1990s, Allen’s (Ohio Is for Sale for adults) world is rendered in a simple, black-and-white cartoon style reminiscent of Matt Groening’s and populated with lightly differentiated anthropomorphic animals. The art offers an avenue into a turning point in Camden’s life as he seeks to discern his desires; scenes that show him experimenting to determine who he is feel honest and offer universality to this consideration of teenage life. In addition, it offers a solid depiction of how specific moments can change in perceived importance, especially when layered identity is part of the mix. Ages 15–up. [em](Oct.) [/em]