Funnybook Babylon

October 23, 2008

Jamilti and Other Stories

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — Pedro Tejeda @ 6:25 pm

Jamilti and Other Stories

Rutu Modan
Jamilti and Other Stories
Drawn and Quarterly

I walked away from Exit Wounds enjoying Modan’s dialogue, her coloring, and the expressiveness of her faces but feeling mixed about the overall story. Maybe I was too attached to her short form slice of life style from her New York Times work. These small stories were overflowing with aspects and ideas of family which felt sparse in the longer length of Exit Wounds.

It was my attachment to that blog work that made me pick up her current anthology from Drawn and Quarterly, Jamilti and Other Stories. Jamilti contains several of Modan’s short story work between ’98 to ’07, many occurring in modern Israel and based around families. Several use family photographs as ways to advance the plot.

I have to say even though nearly every one of the stories have some negative aspects to them, Modan’s other strengths were enough to make me enjoy each of them. One particular shortcoming in Modan’s earlier work is how ugly it can be. I love Modan’s current art style. Her backgrounds are quite strong and she is able to convey so many different emotions with simple line work. Her characters’ body shapes are quite fantastic, each character is drawn in a unique way that is more than age and sex appropriate but just natural. It makes it easier to realize them as actualized people instead of characters in a story.

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