cover image Laura & Other Stories

Laura & Other Stories

Guillem March, trans. from the Spanish by David Soto Brown. Ablaze, $19.99 (122p) ISBN 978-1-950912-64-3

March (the Batman series) offers an attractive but meandering slice of Spanish island life that follows Laura, a directionless 20-year-old, through beaches, nightclubs, college parties, and vague relationship problems with handsome but distant men. Laura’s saucy friend Elena encourages her to take the plunge and finally lose her virginity—maybe with Marcos, who only makes romantic gestures in her dreams, or maybe with musician Luis, who is smitten with Laura but also loves playing the field. “They aren’t going to believe in me if I don’t believe in myself,” Laura decides, but finding her own identity is a drifting target, not least because March doesn’t seem to be sure who his protagonist is outside of her not quite romantic entanglements. The artwork proves more commanding, with good-looking characters romping against fuzzy but richly colored sun-drenched locales (with periodic cheesecake shots of whichever women happen to be on panel). The volume includes a handful of bonus stories, such as one in which Hayao Miyazaki descends from the sky to upbraid March : “Do you really think that you’re deceiving the reader simply by drawing yourself as a female?” Like its heroine, this project is smart and attractive, but has trouble finding its purpose. (Aug.)