Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: Scenes from an Impending Marriage, by Adrian Tomine

I was a big fan of Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve when it was first being published, but eventually I became disenchanted with his work; it just became to seem too sterile, too "same-y" for my tastes. But when I read an excerpt of Scenes from an Impending Marriage in this year's Best American Comics anthology, I was enchanted, and I quickly requested a copy of the book from my library. I wasn't disappointed.

Tomine's cartooning is looser here than I'm used to seeing - he's having fun, and it shows. The book is a collection of short-short stories, vignettes, and even one-panel cartoons concerning the planning of his wedding to his fiancee Sarah. Anyone who's ever gotten married will identify with these mini-horror stories, which are nevertheless told with engaging humor. The influence of Charles Schulz (Peanuts) shows up more than once here, to good effect. This is a slight book (you can read it in a few minutes), but it's a keeper, and it has convinced me to check out some more of Tomine's recent work. If it's half as entertaining as this book, I'll be happy.

Scenes from An Impending Marriage
a prenuptial memoir by Adrian Tomine
Drawn & Quarterly, 2011
ISBN-10: 1770460349
ISBN-13: 978-1770460348
54 pages, $9.95