Afternoon at McBurger’s

Fantagraphics. Dec. 2021. 64p. ISBN 9781683964841. $16.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
A trio of teenage girls visit a fast-food restaurant called McBurger’s, hoping that they’ll be selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity called the “Once Party.” One of the girls, Dani, is already despondent, after a situation involving her erratic, violent brother; her mood doesn’t improve when her friends Pepa and Nuri both win a Once Party, leaving her to wait for them. Led into separate chambers, Pepa and Nuri are presented with three points of time in their future and instructed to choose which moment they’d like to visit. The girls travel through time and return to assure Dani they took care of her problem. Suddenly, the meaning behind several mysterious scenes earlier in the plot becomes clear, revealing the warmth and keen empathy animating this narrative, which previously felt somewhat cold and ambiguous. It’s a fascinatingly effective, slightly disconcerting effect, which is exactly what fans of Galvañ’s acclaimed 2019 debut, Press Enter To Continue, have come to expect.
VERDICT Galvañ presents this speculative fiction novella in oddly angular compositions filled out with bright blocks of pastel and primary colors, making it as visually distinctive as it is emotionally resonant.
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