Empathy and creativity inform this unsentimentalized account of a young woman’s loneliness.
On the eve of her 26th birthday, Amy Breis finds herself suffering an anxiety attack on the bus, amid the prospects of an empty life, a dead-end job and a free-flowing imagination. Though a variety of men plainly find her attractive, her major companions are the cat she confides in, her mother who worries about her (yet whose own dead-end job provides little inspiration for her daughter) and her television tuned to an animated series featuring Mr. Dangerous, mostly reruns but with one new episode every week. She also has a long-distance telephone relationship with a boyfriend who lives halfway across the country in San Francisco, and whose communication with her provides solace that makes her miss him all the more. Her encounters with men occasionally find her falling into bed, but she resists their efforts to get to know her better and extend their connection past one night. Her female friends at work are mainly concerned about potential boyfriends for Amy as well as ones who have already proven themselves jerks. Amid this fairly straightforward, matter-of-fact narrative, graphic novelist Hornschemeier (The Three Paradoxes, 2006, etc.) intersperses sequences that might be dreams, fantasies or flashbacks, along with episodes in which Mr. Dangerous seems to be providing commentary on (or at least counterpoint to) Amy’s life.
The artist displays an affinity for dialogue balloons that float beyond the panel, while plenty of other powerful passages are simply wordless.