Genre: Graphic Novel, Short Stories, YA,
Published by Uncivilized Books
Borrowed from the library
I was looking through the library at school like usual and I found this, a small paperback. It was pink and brand spanking new. And to me, it looked like a novel, which was why I was weirded out by it. Most graphic novels that come in this size are usually manga, but this wasn’t manga.
I never knew who this guy was and apparently his popularity came from Tumblr, I must’ve not had one during that time, because I’ve literally never heard of him or seen his artwork. Even the publisher is unfamiliar to me. And so I decided to read this during a Monday hour break in between my classes. It took me two days to read since I didn’t want to take it out of the library.
The artwork made my eyes go inwards or something, I was completely shocked at it. Not because the artwork was complex andhad beautiful lines, but because it was this sort of scrape in type of artwork, It was cute but it took awhile to get used to. it reminded me of how I use to just take a pencil and just scrape the graphite point against the loose leaf paper and then make drawings by using the eraser. Maybe I can put a picture here? My biggest problem with this volume is that it was honestly hard to see stuff, words and backgrounds, but thankfully it was only the first part.
Yep it looks like that, at least for that scene and this part is from the first short story in this duo, “Hawaii 1997”. The first short story is a little vague to me, mostly because of the artwork and because I couldn’t read the author’s writing well. I feel like he did it on purpose and this is a short story so it will wrap up pretty fast and sweet whether you like it or not. Basically what happens is this kid lives in Hawaii and he visits a beach and is looking at the scenery. Then this girls comes around, attracts his attention and then he follows her. They play hide and seek or tag and she disappears, not in a spooky way, but in a I’m-all-by-myself way. It kind of resonates with me when I think about it now,when you’re a kid, things are pretty surreal and they sort of disappear before your eyes or something and the world always seems to be out of your control.
The second short story is called “Anime”. The artwork is more detailed in this and there’s more dialogue in this, the first story had almost no dialogue at all. It’s about this anime fangirl who loves anime so much that she wants to visit Japan and she learns basic Japanese. She wants to visits Japan and fantasizes it as a dreamland where she will be accepted for her anime fandom. This story sort of puts a message out there for people who fetishsize cultures. There’s a scene where she asks a girl who is Korean American about something Japanese (I don’t remember) and the girl gives her a dirty look and reminds her that she isn’t Japanese. When the girl goes to Japan, she’s disappointed and lonely, culture shocked and shattered. She meets a Japanese woman in the restaurant who speaks English and feels somewhat comfortable with her lack of Japanese language and is somewhat at ease.
A reoccuring theme in these two short stories is misplacement and loneliness and no one hears or sees you. It’s vague, the story telling is minimal and instead lets you navigate it yourself. There’s not much dialogue or complex imagery in this volume so you can read it one sitting. I’m disappointed I didn’t know about this guy earlier and this is why I love libraries and fondling book spines, I always manage to find something super nice.