Threndyle, Nick – Gringo
Damn my keyboard for not having the upside down exclamation mark! This is a huge telling of Nick’s trip through Mexico, stopping at all kinds of little cities (and places that aren’t even cities) along the way. He was nice enough to provide a map on the inside front cover, so I won’t list a bunch of them pretending that I have any idea where he was. Mostly there’s a lot of introspection, some meditation, a bit of intimidation here and there, and an almost complete loss of understanding of the “civilized” world, whicih is exactly what Nick seemed to be shooting for. These “travel diary” style comics are a tough thing to get exactly right (see Peter Kuper and Justin Hall for examples of just that), as people tend to either be too wordy or too sparse in the details of their trip, and Nick threads that needle beautifully. I love his complete lack of word balloons, how all of his thoughts are wrapped up inside of the images of his trip. Great, beautiful stuff, that artwork won me over in the last issue and kept right on going in this one. There’s also a funny Leonard Cohen story from an airport, just to name drop a little for the man. It’s $7.50, which may seem a bit hefty, but this is a hefty book, something that shouldn’t be missed by people who enjoy travelling vicariously through people like Nick.