In this short graphic tale a mail carrier’s past comes back not to haunt but to inspire him.
Gerald’s regular, settled life takes a turn for the strange when he receives a call about a misplaced letter opener from the “lost property office.” The office turns out to be a storefront on a quiet street—and upon entering it, Gerald not only meets Agatha, a woman with whom he had gone to school years before, but discovers in its large basement every item that he has ever lost or left behind in his life, all dropped off by parties unknown and tidily laid out. Stunned, he becomes such a frequent visitor that he’s given a key. One day Agatha comes down and discovers that he has made good on an early ambition to be an artist by assembling old tools and other bric-a-brac into a tall, balletic figure. He makes more, and despite his doubts, people line up to see them. “I realised,” concludes his former schoolmate, who serves as narrator, “he had lost one final thing. It was that worried look on his face.” In a restrained style reminiscent of Chris Ware’s, Poyiadgi illustrates the episode with small panels featuring slightly distant figures in pale, neatly drawn settings.
The general premise is an old favorite, though here it gets an inflection that may appeal best to audiences familiar with the accretion of loss. (Graphic short story. 14 & up)