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Book Review < Back

Mirror, Window

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Jessica Abel
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books


Jessica Abel brings a cinematic sensitivity to the comics medium that is fresh and remarkably her own. She produces characters that are deeply rooted in the real, not encumbered by common stereotypes or stilted dialogue. And in doing so, she provides an intelligent and entertaining insight into the window of human nature. All of which is wonderfully on display in MIRROW, WINDOW, a collection from Fantagraphics of her self-produced Artbabe comics.

Take "As I Live and Breathe" -- the first of a half dozen strips in this book. On its surface, it's a first date story. Darcy and Ben meet again while inadvertently working for the same company. But instead of getting the same-old, same-old, we get the stuff you typically don't see: the getting ready for the date, the fall-out from the date, the recovery. (Truth be told, we don't even get to see the date.) Throw in a little "he said, she said" perspective, and you've got a fresh look at what could easily be mundane.

But I guess that's what I like about Jessica Abel's work -- her innate ability to spot the interesting in the commonplace and transform it into something totally compelling and quite irresistible.

-- Peter Aaron Rose

Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.


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