Yearbooks

book review:

Yearbooks

Printed in Winnipeg, created in Minneapolis, Yearbooks is a clever visual read, starting right off the bat with an interesting conflict: teacher assigns her class to draw sad day interpretations, she goes nuts and stuff comes out of her. The children laugh. The artwork is striking, emotionally deadpan and ultra-suburban, as if you just know these folks are actually out walking around. There’s some high school awkwardness, complete with odd teeth and zits, homophobia and bullying; all the necessary elements that make this book real and gritty. There’s this teacher named Mr. Feltz and this wimpy guy named Ryan who wants to see the drawings the teacher has told him about. The intensity of their relationship is key to the story; a strange attraction/repulsion is in the works here which comes across with bizarre voyeuristic intrigue. So the teacher has drawn really creepy drawings and shows them to the kid: babies and roaches…weird shit. The drawings are black and white but the strip is in colour, so it’s a great mix of both, artistically, as the panels move the story along. The writing is also quite real, urban and slick: “But she was also hopelessly goth so most people just made fun of her.” Surreal, urban and full of teen spirit, I recommend Yearbooks for its daring razor blade slice of life attitude. (Jack Cena)

by Nicholas Breutzam and Shawn Feltz, $16, 36 pgs, 2D Cloud, 1618 Central Ave. NE, Suite 214, Minneapolis, MN, 55413 USA

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