True Travel Tales #3 by Justin Hall
Thereâ€™s only one true travel tale this time around, and it ends up possibly being the best of the bunch. A young woman named Sarah goes off on a two week tour in Mexico right around the holidays, as she wants to avoid the whole family affair and is at the lowest point in her life. She meets another woman on the bus, Helena, who has recently had her children taken from her (weâ€™re never given the exact reason for this). They make an immediate and profound friendship, but things get complicated when Sarah discovers that Helena isnâ€™t sleeping, and hasnâ€™t slept for at least three days. Things get progressively crazier from there, as Helena slowly breaks down completely, falling into three distinct personalities, going so far as to act like a whore and speak Spanish fluently at times, something she had never been able to do. The struggle to keep Helena from hurting herself and/or out of a Mexican mental institution (a place, they are told, where crazy people sometimes never make it out of) is what makes this book such a beautiful thing, as these strangers give up large chunks of their vacation and sleep just to try and keep this woman going. Justinâ€™s art has never looked better, and he explains in the afterward some of the artistic liberties he took (like telling the story from Sarahâ€™s perspective). Itâ€™s odd to say that you should start at #3 and work your way back if youâ€™re interested in this sort of thing, but this really is the best of the bunch.