Twine, M. – Estuaries #1

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estuaries11

Estuaries #1

Who likes their comics smudgy? OK, it’s petty and irrelevant to start a review with a comment about the fact that the black ink on the front and back covers was still, well, inky, but there you have it. It would have been much more fair to start the review by mentioning that the writing in here was absolutely fantastic, that it took me back to my own illicit wanderings through a closed mental health facility when I was a teenager, but I prefer to get my pessimism out of the way early. This one starts off with M. and friends sneaking into an old abandoned forced labor camp/retirement home for very poor people that closed in 1975. It changed a few times over the years (M. also has a nice summary of the history of the place), but the end result now is that going to it leaves you charged with the feeling that you might get caught, or that you might discover something unique. The middle of the book is all about Alice Austen, a photographer who was so broke (due to nobody buying her pictures and the fact, never mentioned out loud due to the time period, that she was a lesbian) that she had to move to the place as her retirement home, and how she was able to leave soon after once people finally started appreciating her pictures. It’s a nice reminder of how much society has changed in the last 100 years and how far we still have to go, which is clearly something that people need to be reminded of on a regular basis, as people can be awfully stupid about that sort of thing. It’s the quiet moments of this comic that really shine, such as M.’s evaluation of some of the graffiti or the haunting final image/description. It’s well worth checking out, but if your copy is of the same inky composition as mine you might want to have a napkin handy…

estuaries12

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