Graphic novels should be for everyone, regardless of age. It’s a great palate cleanser after a heavy book, great introduction to reading after a slump and it’s a great thing to read if you want to reach your reading goals.
I was in one of my rare moods of wanting to read a graphic novel. Whilst browsing NetGalley, I found this gem, and it’s by a New Yorker cartoonist. I’ve never clicked on it faster. I’ve always admired the artwork on the New Yorker magazine. Sometimes I wish I could purchase the magazine, cut out the cover and frame it.
I could go on and on about my love for the magazine covers, but that’s a topic for another day.
by Will McPhail
A poignant and witty graphic novel by a leading New Yorker cartoonist, following a millennial’s journey from performing his life to truly connecting with people
Nick, a young illustrator, can’t shake the feeling that there is some hidden realm of human interaction beyond his reach. He haunts lookalike fussy, silly, coffee shops, listens to old Joni Mitchell albums too loudly, and stares at his navel in the hope that he will find it in there. But it isn’t until he learns to speak from the heart that he begins to find authentic human connections and is let in—to the worlds of the people he meets. Nick’s journey occurs alongside the beginnings of a relationship with Wren, a wry, spirited oncologist at a nearby hospital, whose work and life becomes painfully tangled with Nick’s.
Illustrated in both color and black-and-white in McPhail’s instantly recognizable style, In elevates the graphic novel genre; it captures his trademark humor and compassion with a semi-autobiographical tale that is equal parts hilarious and heart-wrenching—uncannily appropriate for our isolated times.
*A review copy was given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
t/w: sex, nudity
The perfect balance of an interesting storyline, gorgeous illustrations and a brilliant use of colour. This book is a work of art.
‘It’ is a funny graphic novel by New Yorker magazine illustrator Will McPhail, and it is snarky, creative and reflective. The dialogues were hilarious and comedic without trying too hard, and the characters were likeable. It has been a long time since I’ve read something as good and memorable as this.
The story follows Nick, a 21st century ‘woke boy’ who spends his days in and out of cafes, working a job he hates and often times could be heard exciting himself through the walls and listening to Joni Mitchell right after. He struggles with emotional intimacy, and often has internal monologues about keeping a façade in a world where people commonly engage in small talk.
Then enters Wren, a wry and outgoing oncologist that he met at a bar while he was reenacting the common ‘sad guy at a bar’ scene from a ton of movies (he reference movies quite a bit throughout the story, most of the references fly past my head but I can still appreciate it). They hit off almost immediately and form an interesting relationship with plenty of sarcasm, teasing and emotional moments. She’s my favourite part of this book.
A big chunk of the book was on Nick trying to have conversations that matter with the people around him, and trying to know the person before it becomes too late. I also loved how McPhail left hidden messages in the scenes, especially the names of bars and hipster cafes. A reflection of society and businesses. It’s clever and always a joy to read. He writes in a way that is holding a mirror towards the audience and reminding them to reflect and form better relationships, encased in satire.
Colour is use very wisely in this graphic novel. Most of the pages are in black and white, heavy on the shading, but there are instances where colour is used, commonly to portray the explosion of emotions and happiness when there’s a connection or vulnerability. It is literally a burst of colour, and it is beautiful. Some scenes even looked like photographs.
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