Booklist Review: Scenes From An Impending Marriage

Booklist    |    Booklist    |    March 4, 2011

Once the initial euphoria of popping the question wears off, the minefield of putting together a wedding takes shape. In small, nine-panel-grid vignettes, Tomine documents the perilous process, fraught with onetime decisions that few are qualified to make, from settling on the reception venue to making tactful negotiations on whittling down the guest list, agonizing over invitations that invariably wind up in the trash anyway, and picking from an assortment of cookie-cutter DJs. Interspersed are a few full-page panels that take a subversive, Family Circus spin on exercise (“This nonsense stops the minute we’re married!”), dance lessons (ditto), and eyebrow-tweezing (ditto plus expletives). With the obsessive self-awareness bred into all great autobiographical cartoonists, Tomine incisively depicts the monumental-feeling pressures and expectations that can toss a fledgling couple into “the black hole of nuptial narcissism,” or, in Adrian and Sarah’s case, provide ample proof that they should be making the plunge after all. The institution of marriage as a whole just might benefit from having this little book as required reading.

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