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The Last Lonely Saturday
posted October 20, 2006
Fantagraphics, Hardcover, 80 pages, October 2006, $8
I believe this is the third iteration of Jordan Crane's well-liked, petite-sized short story, after a mini-comic and a paperback edition. Remarkably, the story works in all formats, mostly because of Crane's skill as a designer and how this has kind of naturally carried over into his work. Even something as basic as the choice of color with which Crane works here, yellow, stands out because how it infuses everything with a sense of underlying warmth. The best moments in Last Lonely Saturday
are the little touches like this one -- the leaves that blow onto white pages before the narrative starts, the fact that the dirty dishes in our protagonist's sink are there to be washed by Joy, the affecting snake-like ghost bodies, Crane's great take on sound effects, and even the way he shows other mourners to ground the moments in a kind of universal pain. The story itself doesn't really impress as straight-forward narrative: sad man has his loneliness relieved by a dead woman that really, really loves them so now they can be together. It's a testament to Crane's skill with some of the underappreciated aspects of comics art that the detail work so effectively draws us into this gooey center.