Optic Nerve (#9 and 10)

February 24th, 2006


Adrian Tomine is really, really good. But not good like, “Oh, there’s a really good band that features two of the guys from Depeche Mode” good but like “ciggarette after sex” good. Most of Tomine’s  I’m not gonna review them here, but his books “Summer Blonde” and “Sleepwalk and Other Stories” are some of the best shit I have ever read. His incredible lack of speed (two years went by between issue 8 and issue 9) makes him the Silent Bob of comics. Meaning, that when he does finally get around to putting something out (saying something), it is full of wisdom and wonder. His latest opus is no different.

Optic Nerve is published by the Montreal’s indie king of underground comics, Drawn & Quarterly. And don’t worry if you haven’t been keeping up with the previous issues of O.N. because issue 9 starts a new story with new characters. This story focuses on 30 year old Ben Tanaka: relationship problems, runs a movie theater, bulldike sidekick, attracted to young white chicks. I don’t want to give anything away so I will let you read the rest (not very enticing? well you should check it out ’cause i give it my seal of approval!) The best part about Tomine’s work is his ability to tell stories through the joint picture-dialouge spread that comics present. His artwork is phenomenal (his ability to capture human expression is like whoa) and his frames of wordless expression give off this early silence that says so much more than words. Bearing this in mind, his dialouge is nothing to write off: full of quips and colloquialisms, and just so motherfucking natural. Bottom line: read it. Tomine’s ability to capture realism never dissapoints.

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