cover image Inappropriate


Gabrielle Bell. Uncivilized, $19.95 (136p) ISBN 978-1-941250-38-9

Bell (Everything Is Flammable) explores the pitfalls and vulnerabilities of modern urban living to tender, wry, and often hilarious effect in this collection of short comics. Bell’s portraits have a lived-in feel: her pen-and-ink visuals linger on the bags under eyes, the wrinkles in clothes, and the rough masonry of New York City streets, rendered in flat, muted colors. In contrast, her subjects mix up the mundane and the fantastic. “Sometimes I wonder if Kate Middleton ever draws comics,” she wonders, “because even now, I still have my princess dreams.” Red Riding Hood idles away her days with the Wolf, who’d rather fix up old cars than eat grandmothers; dogs lead humans around on leashes; and Bell herself trudges to the East River to do her laundry by hand, because revealing she doesn’t know how to use the new washing machine is too unbearable to consider. The tension between these flights of fancy and the grit of her art knits together the disparate collection of stories into a winsome cohesive whole. In detailing her daydreams, Bell gets readers to feel uncomfortable in the most marvelous way. [em](Jan.) [/em]