Adrian Tomine - Sleepwalk and Other Stories (4 stars)

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Adrian Tomine - Sleepwalk and Other Stories

(Faber)

COLLECTION

There is a lightness of touch and simplicity that is both brave and endearing in the work of Adrian Tomine. He created Optic Nerve, an outlet for his stories and art from his university dorm in the mid 90s and was picked up by underground publishing house Drawn and Quarterly in the US, who saw something special in his singular vein of graphic introspection.

His characters enjoy distinct but sometimes all too familiar brands of personal inertia as they struggle with love, dead-end jobs, self-image issues or just good old-fashioned paranoia. Beneath the deep melancholy that permeates Tomine’s work is an elegant, controlled art; something spare and considered. This collection of brief encounters is sad but beautiful – the graphic novel equivalent of a Todd Solondz movie where toes curl and hearts ache. Pale and interesting, hopelessly romantic, but never sentimental, Tomine’s work is incisive and even painfully real. For the geek in all of us.

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