cover image Bradley of Him

Bradley of Him

Connor Willumsen. Koyama, $15 (64p) ISBN 978-1-927668-73-3

Willumsen (Anti-Gone) delivers a bizarre but thought-provoking portrait of an eccentric method actor in the Las Vegas area. The extremely unreliable narrator is so dedicated to his craft that he loses himself entirely, as he runs through the desert to the point of delusion in preparation for a role. The story starts out in the form of a letter written on hotel stationary addressed to Robert De Niro; it then winds through a series of loosely connected vignettes, including roadside encounters and casino visits, featuring the protagonist, who might be named Murray, presenting various identities and personas as he introduces himself with different names, such as Lance or Bradley (as in Cooper). Between his obsessive marathon runs in the heat, he prepares award-show speeches that he may or not be actually slated to give and has a (likely imagined) men’s room conversation with Leonardo DiCaprio. Throughout, there is a sense that he has been warped and/or subsumed by the longing for fame (“Who is he?” asks one annoyed stranger). The morphing story line is perfectly matched by Willumsen’s precisely modulated pencil drawings that shift effortlessly from confident minimalism to detailed landscapes. This artful, ambiguous character study will both challenge and fascinate adventurous art comics readers.[em] (Nov.) [/em]