GRAPHIC NOVELS

everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too: a book by jomny sun

Harper Perennial. Jun. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780062569028. pap. $14.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
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Sun, the playwright and artist famous for the popular @jomnysun Twitter feed, presents the story of an "aliebn" named Jomny who is sent to Earth to study humanity. Jomny instead encounters an array of forest creatures, including an owl with impostor syndrome, a kindly tree, an egg agonizing over what it's destined to hatch into, and a hedgehog with artistic aspirations. Jomny and his new friends discuss death, love, art, depression, insecurity, and more, all with the outsider perspective and naïveté (expressed in the character's interactions and observations, as well as the simple illustrative style and unique spelling and syntax) that have gained Sun a huge readership. Impressively sincere, at times insightful, and humorous, many of Sun's observations and conclusions about humanity can also feel aphoristic or platitudinous rather than groundbreaking, as most of what's here boils down to "what makes you different makes you special."
VERDICT Sun's fans will welcome his first book with wild enthusiasm, while those not familiar with his online presence might be a little less excited. Still, even the most cynical reader will have a hard time not being somewhat charmed.

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