Scenes from an Impending Marriage (A Prenuptial Memoir), by Adrian Tomine (4 stars)

A witty graphic novel with indie sensibilities

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Scenes from an Impending Marriage (A Prenuptial Memoir), by Adrian Tomine

(Faber)

In February, Adrian Tomine launched the US publication of Scenes from an Impending Marriage (A Prenuptial Memoir) via an onstage conversation with Leanne Shapton. Her last book, Important Artifacts, was the mainly photo-led story of a couple’s break-up told through an auction house catalogue detailing the joint possessions they were selling off.

Here, Tomine writes from the other end of that scenario, as he and his now-wife Sarah Brennan tiptoe their way round the minefield of a wedding plan. There are even panels which include names and places blackened out like recently uncovered Secret Service papers in order to protect the over-sensitive. While this is clearly a personal document for the pair, there are many familiar touches, summed up in the opening image of Sarah pushing ahead with arrangements while Adrian grazes with a snack and an episode of The Wire.

In a cute postmodern twist, Brennan suggests that her groom-to-be creates a lasting monument of their big day by knocking up a comic about the amusing/ frustrating build-up. With a sigh and a ‘you must be joking,’ Tomine eventually caves in to his lovely bride’s wish. It’s just one example of the quaint indie sensibility that drives on this tiny gem of a book.

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