cover image Afternoon at McBurger’s

Afternoon at McBurger’s

Ana Galvañ, trans. from the Spanish by Jamie Richards. Fantagraphics, $16.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-68396-484-1

Fizzy imaginative layouts paired with soda-pop colors draw readers into this deceptively simple science fiction comics novella from Galvañ (Press Enter to Continue), set in a world that mixes futuristic technology with a retro 1990s aesthetic. Best friends Nuria, Pepa, and Dani visit the fast-food chain McBurger’s for their Once Party, a special promotion they can only request at age eleven. Lucky winners are offered access to a time portal and a five-minute glimpse of their future lives (“there’s no turning back, friends!”). The abstracted, luminescent artwork, crafted from simple geometric shapes and overlapping colors, heightens the pop-art strangeness of the tale. But beneath the touches of surrealistic whimsy, such as singing Tamagotchi-like robots and winking burgers, the girls’ lives are grounded in down-to-earth fears: bullies at school, abusers at home, parents too disconnected to protect their children, and friendships threatened by the test of time. This jaunt into a bizarre but all-too-familiar future leaves lingering impressions. Filled with visual and narrative invention, it’s a small gem of a comic. (Dec.)