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Celebrated Summer s/c

Celebrated Summer s/c back

Charles Forsman


Page 45 Review by Stephen

“I’d give anything not to be so scared.”

Beautifully drawn in a thin, fragile line with lots of intricate crosshatching and stylistic nods towards Trudeau (Mike’s profile) and Huizenga (Grandma’s profile), this is a very quiet book, sparse on dialogue.

This is partly because Mike has nothing to say (or nothing worth saying) while the enormous Wolf with his short-cropped mohican has retreated into himself ever since he accidentally broke a boy’s arm at school. Then he stopped playing and started watching instead. Now, increasingly placid, he’s virtually stopped speaking except when prompted. He’s timid, he’s isolated, and he’s scared. He can’t even pee in public. There’s a lot of nervous sweat.

It may also be because they’re concentrating on their trip: two tabs of acid each, and a drive to the beach. That adds a certain tension to the book: who’d take drugs and drive?!

It’s a black and white book, yet the two main instances of tripping far from suffer for it. Mike’s is short and sweet: a full page given over to single flower opening as if in stop-motion. The panel borders evaporate, leaving twelve clean images of the blossoming bud surrounded by identical leaves as if viewed though a fly’s eye. Wolf’s is more dramatic and – to him – disorientating / nauseating, as an arcade game’s screen morphs into some psychedelic optician’s test complete with a lot of circles.

James Sturm and Chester Brown are both fans, if that helps.
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