Jillian Tamaki. Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-77046-287-8
Tamaki (This One Summer, SuperMutant Magic Academy) presents the adult, oblique side of her work in this revelatory collection of short stories. These strips are playful yet pensive; in the introductory story, the narrator asks, “Do I want to look at art at 2 AM or eat a donut in the park?” Many, including “Bed Bug” and “Half-Life,” track the formation and dissolution of romantic relationships. In “Body Pods,” a young woman goes through her history of romantic partners, all fans of the titular invented sci-fi movie. A surreal, dreamlike sense of dread and sadness pervades many of these stories, but wry sympathy for the often lost characters takes Tamaki’s already formidable cartooning skills to a new level. Artistically, obsessive-looking rendering juts up against spontaneous, sparse line work, mirroring the disorientation the narrators experience. Tamaki has delivered an essential collection of truly modern fiction in comics form. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/13/2017
Release date: 06/06/2017
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