Beverly

Beverly

Book - 2016
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5

Nick Drnaso's comics mercilessly reveal the sterile sameness of the suburbs.

Connected by a series of gossipy teens, the modern lost souls of Beverly struggle with sexual anxieties that are just barely repressed and social insecurities that undermine every word they speak.

A group of teenagers pick up trash on the side of the highway--flirting, preening, and ignoring a potentially violent loner in their midst. A college student brings her sort-of boyfriend to a disastrous house party with her high-school acquaintances. A young woman experiences a traumatic incident at the pizza shop where she works and the fallout reveals the racial tensions simmering below the surface. Again and again, the civilized façade of Drnaso's pitch-perfect surburban sprawl and pasty Midwestern protagonists cracks in the face of violence and quiet brutality.

Drnaso's bleak social satire in Beverly reveals a brilliant command of the social milieu of twenty-first-century existence, echoing the black comic work of Todd Solondz, Sam Lipsyte, and Daniel Clowes. Precisely and hauntingly recounted, each chapter of Beverly reveals something new--and yet familiar--about the world in which we live.

Publisher: [Montreal] :, Drawn & Quarterly,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781770462250
Branch Call Number: FIC Drnas
Characteristics: pages cm

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Waluconis
Jun 12, 2019

This is pointed minimalist story telling - less is indefinitely more - of the sad lives of many middle class citizens. It is easy to speed through this and shrug, but if you slow down you will find subtle but important connections. The sort of bleak drawing style matches the content of the stories and the people's lives. In that way it has roots in the underground comics movement, but also in classics like Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio", showing the disturbing grotesqueness of contemporary life. The New Yorker article on the creator, Nick Drnaso, says he no longer likes this work. He is a dedicated creator, very dedicated to the art of graphic story-telling. This looks so very plain, each person and vehicle standing isolated. It has a sort of resonant sound, disturbing and truthful. You really should give this and Drnaso's newer book a read. It is the very opposite of explosive super-heroes, but a welcome development to graphic story telling (i.e. comics).

k
kwsmith
Jun 04, 2019

Deeply reminiscent of Daniel Clowes' work, this suburban America novel is filled with bleak social satire and youthful characters who all have serious sexual repression issues. This is a collection of intertwined short stories; you will be rewarded if you pay careful attention to the subtle details that connect each story.

c
Cobin
Mar 04, 2018

Strange and macabre but interesting I guess...

p
PinesandPrejudice
May 26, 2017

What...did...I...just...read? This was one of the weirdest graphic novels I think I have ever read...and not in a good way. I understood some of it, but definitely not all of it. The art was distracting -- it reminded me of that King of the Hill cartoon. And while it was a series of short stories, they all were tragic and depressing. But I have to say, some of the depictions of suburbia are too true for comfort which is why I gave this 2 stars instead of 1 star. Just...weird.

m
mclarjh
Jun 08, 2016

Clean, crisp drawings; bittersweet linked stories of small town life in middle America.

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