McNee, Graeme – An Afternoon in Ueno
An Afternoon in Ueno
It’s hard for a story to get much more charming than this. It starts off simply enough, with a young boy eating a meal with his family and his father pestering him about various duties that the boy should have performed. All of these questions are answered in the affirmative, but the boy tries telling his father that he has a stomach ache to avoid getting out of band practice. The father doesn’t even dignify this with a response, and he drops his child off at band practice. Once the kid gets inside, however, he learns that band practice is actually next week, and his family is not answering the phone at his house, leaving the boy with an afternoon to kill. He starts off looking a little concerned about this eventuality, but soon realizes what this means for his afternoon and is overjoyed. I’m in danger of telling the whole story again, so I’ll just leave the description there, but again, this whole thing is damned near too charming for words. Graeme has already shown an uncanny knack for the quiet moments with his last book, but this one just cements that reputation in my mind. This isn’t a silent comic, but large chunks of it go without words, as they’re simply not necessary at times. Picking out my favorite moment would be difficult. The hat store? The birds? The jam session on the street? I’ll just go with “all of it” and leave it at that. Check this out, everybody. You won’t be disappointed. But hurry, will you? This only has a print run of 200, and this is one of those cases where I don’t think number will end up being high enough.