Previously available in a limited, signed edition, Tomine's collection of 16 b&w; short graphic narratives has a lot in...

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SLEEPWALK and Other Stories

Previously available in a limited, signed edition, Tomine's collection of 16 b&w short graphic narratives has a lot in common with Douglas Coupland's fiction: Gen-X tales of loneliness and despair, they're stark and edgy, though without Coupland's cheery consolations. Tomine, who published all of these pieces in his comic book Optic Nerve, develops the perfect visual vocabulary for his sharp stories: His solid black backgrounds isolate his nervous characters as they suffer though all sorts of slacker blues. The title sleepwalker is a young fellow who misinterprets the birthday wishes of his ex-girlfriend, who just wants to be friends. Tomine's expressive style captures the full creepiness of some inter-apartment voyeurism, and a brilliant one-page, visual haiku of his father's experience of total darkness on a Japanese roadway. The hyper-self-conscious protagonists here often find themselves incapable of action, whether it involves bullies on a bus or a missed flight home, both sources of endless anxiety. Some of the wordless panels carry stories along so strongly that we know we're in the hands of a major young comics artist--visually gripping and emotionally challenging.

Pub Date: June 5, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly--dist. by Inbook

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1998