RUTU MODAN in The Philadelphia City Paper

Arts Picks

The Philadelphia City Paper    |    Sam Adams    |    October 10, 2007

Koby Franco is used to not having his father around. So when a young female soldier named Numi shows up at his taxi stand and tells him his long-estranged father may have been the victim of a suicide bombing, he's not quite sure what he's lost. Reluctant to give blood that might prove his link to a corpse blasted beyond recognition, he starts piecing together the last several years of his father's life, never sure if the man he's assembling bit by bit is alive or dead.

Drawn with simple strokes and a bright, soft palette, Rutu Modan's graphic novel, Exit Wounds (Drawn and Quarterly), dwells on the in-between moments of Koby's search, a personal drama unfolding silently beneath the larger turmoil of the second intifada. Even the bombing that may have killed his father is overshadowed by another, larger, bombing that took place at the same time. But Koby's life, and his evolving relationship with Numi (who turns out to have had her own equally complicated relationship with Koby's father) proceed at their own pace, winding in and out of the larger world. Perfectly melding the personal and the political, Exit Wounds creates a sense of a life lived in a time of war but never quite dominated by it.

Sun., Oct. 14, 2 p.m., free, Free Library, Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., 215-567-4341.

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