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Optic Nerve #9Review - Optic Nerve #9
by Adrian Tomine
Drawn & Quarterly, 2004
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Nov 23rd 2005 (Volume 9, Issue 47)

Adrian Tomine has become one of the best-known comic book artists working today, with work appearing not just in comics but also in respected magazines such as The New Yorker.  His collections of his work in book form are impressive in their ability to depict youthful alienation and the strangeness of life. 

With Optic Nerve 9, Tomine starts a longer project of telling a story over three issues, in 96 pages.  It is hard to resist the conclusion that it is to some extent autobiographical, since is features a Japanese-American man living in San Francisco.  So far, issues 9 and 10 have been published, and issue 11 is due soon.  The longer format gives Tomine the opportunity to go deeper into character development and introduce more subplots.  Ben is the manager of a movie theatre, and his best friend is Alice, who happens to be a Korean-American lesbian.  Ben talks with Alice about their shared experience as Asian-Americans, their difficulties with dating, and their career goals, while hanging out in bohemian San Francisco with other twenty-somethings.

Tomine's drawing style is very appealing in its simplicity and elegance, and his writing is engaging.  This work is not as quirky as his earlier comics, but it is just as satisfying. 

 

Links:

·        Drawn & Quarterly

·        Review of Sleepwalk And Other Stories

·        Review of Summer Blonde

·        Review of 32 Stories: The Complete Optic Nerve Mini-Comics

 

© 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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