Nick Drnaso's comics mercilessly reveal the sterile sameness of the suburbs.
Connected by a series of gossipy teens, the modern lost souls of Beverly struggle with sexual anxieties that are just barely repressed and social insecurities that undermine every word they speak.
A group of teenagers pick up trash on the side of the highway—flirting, preening, and ignoring a potentially violent loner in their midst. A college student brings her sort-of boyfriend to a disastrous house party with her high-school acquaintances. A young woman experiences a traumatic incident at the pizza shop where she works and the fallout reveals the racial tensions simmering below the surface. Again and again, the civilized façade of Drnaso's pitch-perfect surburban sprawl and pasty Midwestern protagonists cracks in the face of violence and quiet brutality.
Drnaso's bleak social satire in Beverly reveals a brilliant command of the social milieu of twenty-first-century existence, echoing the black comic work of Todd Solondz, Sam Lipsyte, and Daniel Clowes. Precisely and hauntingly recounted, each chapter of Beverly reveals something new—and yet familiar—about the world in which we live.