cover image Dancing on the Volcano

Dancing on the Volcano

Floor de Goede, trans. from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson. Oni, $29.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-6371-5088-7

A work trip takes comic artist de Goede away from his boyfriend Bas for the longest time in their three-year relationship, and the physical distance highlights the emotional distance between them in this pensive graphic memoir. De Goede, nicknamed Flo, caricatures himself as fastidious and prone to imagination run wild—for example, his portly travel companion for work, Sander, becomes a walrus and elephant when disturbing Flo’s sleep. After returning from his trip, Flo beings to wonder if anything happened between Bas and their mutual friend Tom, a younger, blond-haired man who’s captured Flo’s own romantic attention. Their quiet, building tension erupts when Flo, after cheating on Bas with Tom, asks Bas, “Why can’t the three of us...?” Though Bas supports Flo in recognizing his feelings for Tom, Bas isn’t at all keen on a polyamorous arrangement. Things slowly deteriorate for the couple as the mundanity of daily living becomes suffocating, but a lack of urgency stalls the script’s narrative momentum. Meanwhile, De Goede’s wiry, full-color art meshes the detailed style of European comics with cartooning and cute character designs à la Calvin and Hobbes. Despite its pacing flaws, this true-to-life account pinpoints the particular challenges of a long-term, monogamous gay relationship amid pervasive hookup culture. (Oct.)