cover image The Realist: Plug & Play

The Realist: Plug & Play

Asaf Hanuka, trans. from the Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan. Archaia, $24.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-60886-953-4

In this follow-up to Hanuka’s Eisner Award–winning webcomic collection, The Realist, he once again delivers a powerful series of strips that brings together family, fatherhood, conflict, and crisis with all of the warmth, humor, tragedy, and profundity of the best cartoonists. Topics vary, including dealing with the challenges of being a comics creator, worrying about his finances, and helping his children get to a shelter during a missile attack. Hanuka shows readers his humanity by detailing his feelings of doubt and inadequacy as well as his hopefulness and affection for the human condition. A recurring motif has him depicting himself as mere human covering for something mechanical—removing his face to reveal a light socket or cassette player, or showing himself to be a robot—but it’s clear these allusions are a mask for vulnerable humanity in all its glory. Hanuka’s art spins from the heartfelt to the grotesque as needed, with a rich, fluid line. This second collection is a more than worthy successor to the first. (Apr.)