cover image Open Bar

Open Bar

Eduardo Medeiros. Oni, $24.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-63715-050-4

This fizzy, affable ramble, buoyed by eye-grabbing artwork, follows the motley crew at the Cave Pub, a recently refurbished watering hole in a city that’s seen better days. Lifelong pals Lenny and Beardo inherit the bar from Beardo’s ne’er-do-well father and get to work renovating the building, brewing beer, and bickering over Lenny’s serially unfaithful girlfriend. Medeiros’s whimsical, design-centric art style has a mid-century modern look reminiscent of cartoonists like Marc Hempel or Seth, but with its own loopy charm. Characters are built from circles and ovals, cars are blocky slabs, and the city’s brownstone buildings display cheerfully crooked geometry. The loose story intersperses playful plot points like the gang combining beer and a hallucinogenic biofuel to create “the best drink the world has ever known!” with family trauma, business struggles, relationship woes, bar brawls, and the occasional life-or-death crisis. “This is a regular story,” the opening pages promise, but Medeiros finds wonder and weirdness in ordinary life as the characters fumble their way toward adulthood. Reading this book is like dropping in at the quirky local pub for a beer or three. (Oct.)