cover image Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves

Nicole Goux. Avery Hill, $16.95 trade paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-910395-72-1

Goux (Shadow of the Batgirl) spritzes up a familiar tale of directionless 20-somethings with sincere emotion and eye-catching visuals. Bobbie, a recent college grad, dreams of a music career but has trouble even working up the nerve to land a gig at the Pig’s Knuckles, the bar where she works long shifts and swats off obnoxious barflies. She’s hung up on her ex, she drinks too much beer, and her roommate Clara is looking for an excuse to kick her out. “There’s so much I want to do,” Bobbie frets, “but when it comes to doing it I just... can’t.” When she adopts a strange, shaggy dog, caring for the unruly stray becomes the ultimate distraction from her unfinished business, dominating her life and filling her dreams. Goux’s curvy, fluid art, tinted like red roasted bar peanuts, wiggles around the page, as the narrative slithers between real life—often depicted with collage layouts suggesting bleary nights and repetitive daily tasks—and an eerie otherworld of dreams, nightmares, and fantasies. Though the story line doesn’t strike particularly novel insights into the travails of young adulthood, Goux’s combo of winsome art and innovative layouts makes for an appealing stroll down a well-trod narrative path. (May)