Crane, Jordan – The Last Lonely Saturday
In a perfect world, it wouldn’t matter how much this book cost. As it is, if I hadn’t ordered it through the mail sight unseen, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it. Why? Because it’s tiny and it’s mostly wordless, and it’s $8. Don’t get me wrong, it looks beautiful. I’m happy that I have it now for the sheer design alone. But this honestly could have been a mini comic, or a less expensive regular sized thing. If we’re going to give up on anybody who isn’t a cartoonist actually buying comics, then fine, continue to put out books that are tiny and cost $8, and we can all sit in our clubhouse for the rest of our lives, secure in the knowledge that we’re right and the rest of the world will never get it. If we want regular folk to start reading these, they have to, somehow, be made more affordable. Paradoxically, the design of this book makes it stand out on a shelf, but the price tag would drive away all but the most diehard of fans.
Climbing down off my soapbox now, this was a moving, vibrant piece of work. The story of a man who goes out to visit the grave of his dead wife, it’s over almost before you know it. But what you see here sticks with you. Anybody out there ever think about getting old and visiting the graves of your loved ones? Think about it, then read this again. We’re none of us that far from it, no matter how young we are. I hope he does more outside of Non (which has to be the best anthology currently going), and I hope he makes a bigger book. Regardless of my qualms about the price, this is a worthwhile read that makes any collection of comics automatically better. If you have $8 laying around, buy this. It might take a few months (trust me, I know), but it’s worth the effort.
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