OPTIC NERVE 11 reviewed by CBR

Joe Rice Media Review 4/2/07

CBR    |    Joe Rice    |    April 2, 2007

And, lo, there did come a new issue of Optic Nerve. The third and final part of Adrian Tomine’s first multi-issue story arrived at Rocketship and I just finished reading it. It’s going to take a while to completely unpack it. It’s dense, it’s difficult, and it’s achingly real. Tomine’s sense of humor never disappears, even during the most heart-wrenching of moments there’s enough self-mockery to keep the book from self-indulgence. Interracial relationships are the heart of the issue, along with how one projects his or her shortcomings on the rest of the world. My sister dated someone like the white guy in this book for a while, so I found him extra-entertaining. But this really was a great demonstration of Tomine’s talents, as a satirist, as a revealer of human conditions, and as a fantastic cartoonist. Every line (of pen or dialogue) is expertly crafted for the express purpose of expressing Tomine’s purpose. If you haven’t followed this story, you can probably pick up all three issues still. Optic Nerve really is a vital part of today’s comics and well-worth your time. Don’t make the beginner’s mistake of thinking Tomine approves of his characters behavior all the time. He’s often ridiculing it and exorcising it from himself.

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