Stylish Vittles: Fare Thee Well
Tyler Page, Author . Dementian Comics $13 (200p) ISBN 978-0-97
Page, nominated for an Eisner Award for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition in 2003, delivers the third volume of this series, a largely autobiographical story of college romance. As the title suggests, this installment brings the end of love. Page offers up an emo rendering of a sensitive guy's pain as he says good-bye to his girlfriend, who is leaving for a semester in Thailand. Steeped in overwrought nostalgia, the story dwells tediously on the little moments of life: conversation around a dinner table, banter among college roommates, walks across an autumnal campus. Fortunately, the art comes through where the story doesn't. Page's characters are appealingly drawn, and the action, often expressed with manga-style exaggeration, is fluid and fun. But unlike the fine autobiographical work from creators like Adrian Tomine and Marjane Satrapi, who shape the personal into gripping narrative, this work never gets past the episodic and the anecdotal. Awkwardly paced jumps in time along with the strange and unexplained superhero interludes don't help this faltering love story, which leaves one with more of a queasy feeling of having been given too much information about a stranger's life than appreciation for the art of the telling. Lines taken straight from couples therapy—"I'm glad you decided to share yourself with me"—kill any romance that might have survived the rest of the book's flaws.
Reviewed on: 04/18/2005