GRAPHIC NOVELS

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Fantagraphics. Sept. 2019. 100p. ISBN 9781683962168. $19.99. Rated: Teen+. SHORT STORIES
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Strange geometric designs floating through oddly angled panels saturated with fluorescent color fill every page of this collection of five surreal short stories by Spanish creator Galvañ (The Contents of Desire). In the first piece, a woman in a pink dress splits into three people as she walks across a room. One woman stops to watch television. Suddenly, the two other women are attacked by a tiger. The next story opens with a trapeze artist at the circus: he becomes obsessed with a woman named Scandal the Human Doll and flashes to a disturbing and abstract sex scene—but the scene doesn’t progress much further. An odd depiction of a woman enduring an unusual job interview is a highlight, as is the final story about a woman who discovers that the pixelated child who keeps appearing might be a visually transmitted computer virus designed to drive her to suicide.
VERDICT While visually compelling, these five stories might not satisfy if taken individually. When read in sequence, however, the aggregated ambiguity and absurdity results in a sense of unease and eventually awe at Galvañ’s originality and technical expertise.

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