After self-publishing seven mini-comics as a teenager, Optic Nerve became a regular comic book series when Adrian Tomine was only twenty. His work developed steadily over the years, from the rough, sketchy drawings of his early mini-comics to the stark, crisp graphic approach of his D&Q series. Although his work is no longer strictly autobiographical, his contemporary stories are still deeply personal. Tomine creates a new cast of characters for each story, and he has become a master of penetrating their fragile exteriors.
This first D+Q issue features five stories: “Sleepwalk” (11 pages), an account of a young man’s attempts to cling to an old, fading relationship; “Echo Avenue” (5 pages), where voyeurism is the pastime of choice as a couple peers into their neighbor’s bedroom window; “Long Distance” (2 pages), a brief, powerful story about a woman’s cold, distant conversations with her boyfriend; “Drop” (1 page), an account of an unfortunate incident by the author’s father; and “Lunch Break” (5 pages), where a solitary elderly woman thinks back to happier times in the 1950’s.
First printing: April 1995; second printing: February 1997; third printing: October 2001; fourth printing: October 2005.