Summer Blonde by Adrian Tomine
A complete list of things which last forty days:
2. Two consecutive gestation periods for the Norway (Common) Rat (females can carry a new litter within 18 hours of giving birth);
3. Four preparations for Amish friendship bread;
4. Six and two/thirds reenactments of the Six-Day War;
5. Books Ben Read unintentional hiatus.
Yes, it happened again. And, yes, those of you who are attentive readers (re:) may feel betrayed by the ostentatious claims I made about being more regular with this blog. Well, be betrayed no more! Because I no longer claim to be good, or regular. I don’t accept all the blame for this too-wide gap in time; this book made me do it. I had nothing to say about it; if all the amazing Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Egan and Marquez I read this year is fiber (this is an analogy about keeping “regular,” yes.), then this collection of stories from Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve series is a greasy, racist* Geno’s cheesesteak. I got all backed up.
I enjoy Tomine’s comics. Shortcomings is incredible. The Optic Nerves are beautiful, and expertly crafted, too. But this book, which collects four nearly identical stories about desperately lonely introverts who fawn over their memories of strangers, didn’t hit me. They were “meh,” at best. They are drawn very well; I grant him that. I need to get my blogging groove back, so instead of thoroughly analyzing these comics, I will leave you (footnote excluded, obvs) with the best sentences I’ve ever bootlegged, as lifted from here:
“In the movie Tron, there are men and women in tight clothing who throw discs and drive cars. Their world is not so different than ours. Bless us all.”
*I’m not implying that Tomine is racist, or that his book is racist. This is purely a judgment upon the Geno’s Steaks restaurant in South Philadelphia, where I do not live and have never eaten. I had a sandwich across the street from there once, though.