Sunday, May 22, 2011

Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not) by Jason Shiga

If you know me, you know I have been addicted to comics, graphic novels, visual stories, whatever you want to call them, since I was a kid. Most of the time I'm aware of what is wonderful out there in graphic land, but occasionally a surprise gem falls into my lap when I visit Terminal Entertainment, our local comic shop. Empire State was just such a find, and honestly, I don't know how I missed Jason Shiga all this time (he won an Eisner Award in 2003 for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition). Jimmy is a nerd: he works at the library and his mom still gives him an allowance. His best friend Sara can't wait to get out of Oakland - she's moving to NYC and interning at a publishing house. After she leaves, Jimmy realizes he wants her for more than a friend, and sends her a letter asking her to meet him at the top of the Empire State building (a la Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember). Of course, Sara isn't there at the appointed time (she claims she hasn't received the letter), and instead meets Sara AND her new 'friend' Mark. That doesn't stop her from giving him a kiss at the airport, just to 'get him through the next year.' Shiga does a stellar job at portraying the undefined boundaries of 'just friends,' all in pink and blue shades. Click here for a full review and here for a short video ! Grade 9+