Killing and Dying – Adrian Tomine

A series of short comics of little pieces from different lives. Adrian Tomine’s illustrative style is distinctly clean, easy to digest, and visually soothing

The first short, Hortisculpture, is about a man named Harold who is obsessed with bringing his new artform – Hortisculpture – to the public. His obsession is at times humorous, ridiculous, delusional and depressing. His wife and family are neglected in his search for fame and recognition, and his justification for refusing to give up his dreams sounds self centred and pathetic.

The short Killing and Dying is about a socially awkward young girl with a stutter who decides she wants to become a comedian. Her mum (who is revealed to be terminally ill) initially happily supported her daughters dreams, while her dad was more concerned about the potential embarrassment she might bring. The story is every bit as awkward as real life, everything that goes wrong ends up going wrong, but somehow the ending is bittersweet and heartwarming. The love and support between a father and daughter is enough of a remedy for all of the cringey moments of adolescence.

Go Owls, the final story, is also the most heartbreaking. An abusive relationship, a trapped cycle of life, and events that just go from bad to worse, you find yourself wishing that the main woman can find a happy life after the story.

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