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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Out today! Optic Nerve #14

Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve #14 is out today! If a fan (whose name is withheld) wrote to the author in the letters page to say he had been struck by the protracted gloominess of #13, and suggested to “dust off The Best of Wham!” before Tomine wrote down his next story, Tomine certainly did not care about the advice. (And we’re secretly happy about it!)

Indeed, his two short stories both hold gloomy titles. The first one, “Killing and Dying” is all at once moving, stark and funny…but is that even possible?

The story starts with an everyday truth, that of a grumpy dad washing the dishes. His daughter Jesse stutters badly. Tomine narrates the dad’s struggles to be supportive, when all of a sudden, she decides to become a stand-up comedian.

No less bleak, “Intruders” is dedicated to the great Yoshihiro Tatsumi, who recently passed away. A loner drifts into a world of his own, as nothing seems to bind him to his family or work. Get ready to wipe off a few drops of blood! 

As Jaime Hernandez points out in the letters page, Tomine’s work has everything, “human drama, baseball, design, layout […] and comedy (the letters page).” And indeed, what a pleasure to read those letters, especially the one from an 18 years old aspiring artist who's just overwhelmed with disappointment. Funny, cute and so…human. 

Bonus! Tomine also included an hilarious autobiographical strip where he discusses his issues with social media. As for now, Tomine still appears to be Twitterless.

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