Clearly connected in various ways aesthetically to his friend Chris Ware, who can almost match for elegance and tone both artistically and thematically.I loved his earlier, no less carefully done work, most of it in Summer Blonde, Sleepwalk and Other Novels, Shortcomings.
His Scenes from an Impending Marriage was a estseller, so he is on the City Radar, though I found that one rather light.The thing I liked about most of Tomine 's work, early on, whether we call it fiction ( he does) or autobiographical fiction, it seemed to be about himself.
The reason that he is continuously self-deprecating or deprecating characters like himself, that appealed and appeals to me.This volume collects 6 stories, all of them bearing the stamp of two principal influences, as far as I can tell: Yoshihiro Tatsume and Chris Ware.
The style of the nex five stories is Ware-like.
And Ware 's Grandma told him to write about normal every day people, which he went and did ( good gir, Chris!) in the magnificent Building Stories, and so much else.
Maybe he has been doing this all the time, I do n't know, I have n't read all the Optic Nerve work.
The book jacket says this is Tomine 's most " empathetic " work.
I very much like his sad wife, endlessly supportive of her dopey husband.The second, " Amber Sweet " is about a ma who is mistaken for a porn star and harassed.
I empathize with the girl, a little, though almost no one else does that meets her in the retellin.
No one would like this guy, but is it a good portrait of the two of them in falling apart lives?
Is Tomine empathetic about this guy?
Maybe he 's still like this guy?
This is another paintin of a sad guy, a loser who has destroyed his life and is drifting ( see Tatsume 's A Drifting Life), has the key to his old partment, where he goes during days to eat and hang out.
Maybe.I would call this empathetic in the pat of Tatsume who never romanticizes the poor, who hates a capitalist system that creates poverty, but never excuses his characters for their behavior because of their being down and out.
Big surprise, eh? The more I take a close look at these admirable and depressing stories the more I see Tomine emerging out of the dark worlds of Ware and Tatsumi, or merging into theirs with his unique contributions.