GRAPHIC NOVELS

Bradley of Him

Koyama. Nov. 2019. 64p. ISBN 9781927668733. pap. $15. F
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A famous actor named Bradley charges out of the Las Vegas hotel where he is staying and runs far out into the blazing heat of the surrounding desert. He ignores stranded motorists, police officers searching for a missing man, and an EMT crew anxious to make sure he’s staying hydrated. As he runs, the actor reflects on inspiration, intelligence, his own career and the life and work of Robert De Niro. A sudden cut to the actor nervously vomiting in the bathroom during the Academy Awards reveals that the actor and De Niro were recently rivals in the Best Actor category. Out in the desert, the actor entertains a group of travelers with celebrity impressions; upon returning to the hotel, he mingles with gamblers on the casino floor. Cartoonist Willumsen (Anti-Gone) is an expert draftsman and designer, presenting pages that swirl with action and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny dialog as scenes segue into one another with an often dreamlike quality.
VERDICT Willumsen pokes fun at the vapidity of celebrity culture and seems interested in satirizing a particularly American sense of entitlement, but ultimately he obscures whatever point he has in mind in favor of remaining willfully, and fascinatingly, perplexing.

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