Killing & Dying

When I was growing up I loved comics. My absolute favourite was Batman and The Hulk. The pages of comics filled my imagination with heroism and an expanding universe.

I stopped reading comics when I got to my mid-teens. The reasons had to do with an immature view of faith and religious rules. I’ve returned to this child-like love for comics and have been reading them with zeal recently.

I have always wanted to read a graphic novel and I came across “Killing & Dying” by Adrian Tomine while looking for comics based on characters from my childhood. I’m glad I picked it up.

The title is unfortunate but the content is profound.

The story that title of the book is based on is about a young lady who has a stutter and wants to get into comedy but needs her parents support. The family experiences the range of human emotion from intense suffering to elation as all families do. It’s an honest portrait of the trials of normal families and the unusual things that happen when you raise children.

I could not stop laughing at “A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortiscuplture” where the main character tries to bring together horticulture and sculpture. It’s a story about modern man’s attempt to reach significance, failing, and eventually experiencing honest redemption rather than raving success.

In my opinion thought the winner is “Translated, from the Japanese.” I can’t do it justice. Tomine uses a minimalist approach to tell the story of a Japanese family that comes to North America. It is disarming and a must read.

Tomine is an artist. I stumbled upon this book and I’m glad because it opened my eyes to see the experiences of humanity through a different lens and for that I’m thankful.