Cover image for Sabrina / by Nick Drnaso.
Title:
Sabrina / by Nick Drnaso.
Author:
ISBN:
9781770463165
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[Montreal, CAN] : Drawn and Quarterly, 2018.
Physical Description:
203 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Abstract:
"When Sabrina disappears, an airman in the U.S. Air Force is drawn into a web of suppositions, wild theories, and outright lies. Sabrina depicts a modern world devoid of personal interaction and responsibility, where relationships are stripped of intimacy through glowing computer screens. An indictment of our modern state, Drnaso contemplates the dangers of a fake news climate."-- Provided by publisher.
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1 Bob Harkins Branch DRN Graphic Novel Adult Graphic Novels
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Summary

Summary

THE FIRST EVER GRAPHIC NOVEL NOMINATED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE! LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION'S FIRST NOVEL PRIZE! "A profoundly American nightmare... The fictional killing in Sabrina is disturbing, but Drnaso doesn't fixate on the gore or the culprit; he's more concerned with how the public claims and consumes it, spinning out morbid fantasies with impunity... It's a shattering work of art." Ed Park, New York TimesConspiracy theories, breakdown, murder: Everything's gonna be all right - until it isn't.When Sabrina disappears, an airman in the U.S. Air Force is drawn into a web of suppositions, wild theories, and outright lies. He reports to work every night in a bare, sterile fortress that serves as no protection from a situation that threatens the sanity of Teddy, his childhood friend and the boyfriend of the missing woman. Sabrina's grieving sister, Sandra, struggles to fill her days as she waits in purgatory. After a videotape surfaces, we see devastation through a cinematic lens, as true tragedy is distorted when fringe thinkers and conspiracy theorists begin to interpret events to fit their own narratives.The follow-up to Nick Drnaso's Beverly, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Sabrina depicts a modern world devoid of personal interaction and responsibility, where relationships are stripped of intimacy through glowing computer screens. Presenting an indictment of our modern state, Drnaso contemplates the dangers of a fake-news climate. Timely and articulate, Sabrina leaves you gutted, searching for meaning in the aftermath of disaster. How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Rate your overall mood from 1 to 5, 1 being poor. Rate your stress level from 1 to 5, 5 being severe. Are you experiencing depression or thoughts of suicide? Is there anything in your personal life that is affecting your duty?

When Sabrina disappears, an airman in the U.S. Air Force is drawn into a web of suppositions, wild theories, and outright lies. He reports to work every night in a bare, sterile fortress that serves as no protection from a situation that threatens the sanity of Teddy, his childhood friend and the boyfriend of the missing woman. Sabrina's grieving sister, Sandra, struggles to fill her days as she waits in purgatory. After a videotape surfaces, we see devastation shown through a cinematic lens, as true tragedy is distorted when fringe thinkers and conspiracy theorists begin to interpret events to fit their own narratives.

The follow-up to Nick Drnaso's Beverly , winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Sabrina depicts a modern world devoid of personal interaction and responsibility, where relationships are stripped of intimacy through glowing computer screens. Presenting an indictment of our modern state, Drnaso contemplates the dangers of a fake-news climate. Timely and articulate, Sabrina leaves you gutted, searching for meaning in the aftermath of disaster.


Author Notes

Nick Drnaso was born in 1989 in Palos Hills, Illinois. His debut graphic novel, Beverly , received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Graphic Novel. He has contributed to several comics anthologies, self-published a handful of comics, been nominated for three Ignatz Awards, and coedited the second and third issues of Linework , Columbia College's annual comic anthology. Drnaso lives in Chicago, where he works as a cartoonist and illustrator.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this graphic novel from a rising star in the indie comics scene, a young woman vanishes, leaving behind her grieving sister and lover. But this coolly despairing narrative focuses on a character only tangentially connected to the incident: Calvin, a divorced, sleeved-blanket-wearing Air Force technician who was friends with the boyfriend in high school. When Calvin agrees to let his old friend crash at his place, he becomes the target of vague, hostile conspiracy theories spread by internet cranks and late-night radio hosts. Like Drnaso's debut, Beverly, the small, precise dramas of Midwestern suburban life are positioned against a larger canvas of contemporary paranoia, rumor-mongering, and violence. The art is characterized by simplified, blocky figures moving though meticulously measured geometric settings-Drnaso wears the influence of Chris Ware on his sleeve. But these comics are much talkier; interstitial, small square panels are filled with blocks of dialogue. The result is a well-crafted, if often frustratingly distant, indie drama, as if Drnaso is reluctant to let too much messy emotion into his careful dioramas. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


New York Review of Books Review

SIX PAGES into SABRINA (Drawn and Quarterly, $27.95), Nick Drnaso's new graphic novel, the title character's sister reads out a clue from the crossword puzzle she's working on. "Twelve letters," she says. "We killed the Clutter family." Sabrina knows the answer: "Dick and Perry" - the killers made famous by Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood." On first read, it's just an example of the conversational vérité that Drnaso excels at, the brief reunion between the two adult siblings at their mom's house in Chicago. Four pages later, Sabrina heads out the door, the last time we see her alive. Not yet 30, Drnaso has topped his virtuoso 2016 debut, "Beverly," which had a cheerful palette gleefully at odds with all that roiled beneath its speckless Midwestern skies: class friction and psychosexual urges, brain-draining sitcoms and kneejerk racism. (Nearly everyone in Drnasoland is white.) Some of the visual shocks in "Beverly" lodge in the head, like certain demonic glimpses from "The Shining" - but "Sabrina" goes deeper, risks more, ft's an unnerving mystery told by a rigorous moralist, a profoundly American nightmare set squarely in the first year of the Trump presidency. Politics is never mentioned, but the dread is everywhere: on the airwaves, at an open mic, in a kid's activity book, and - most barbarically - online. The book centers on the uneasy bond between Calvin Wróbel, who works at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, and Teddy, Sabrina's boyfriend of two years. Newly divorced, Calvin is unusually empathetic and selfless; he takes in Teddy, who arrives from Illinois completely numb after Sabrina's disappearance. Out of touch since high school, Calvin nevertheless cares for his helpless charge, bringing him fast food and giving him the run of his comfortable, desolate house. At work, dressed in fatigues, Calvin periodically fills out Department of Defense mental health surveys, registering hours slept, drinks consumed and whether he's entertained thoughts of suicide. He always answers in the negative. Then a videotape surfaces at a news outlet, with sickening confirmation of Sabrina's fate. Naturally, the murderer's name starts trending. An investigator tells Calvin they're "desperately trying to keep this video from leaking onto the internet," but its migration is inevitable. ("1 need to see this," one commenter writes.) In an unguarded moment, the upright Calvin hits download, but Drnaso doesn't show what he sees, leaving the worst of it to the reader's imagination. Teddy's rage at the senseless loss and the virtual violation makes him vulnerable, unpredictably, to another obscenity: a false-flag narrative peddled by an "fnfowars"-like show, relentlessly flowing from a radio as he clutches a pillow. "1 have been targeted for voicing what amounts to perfectly legal and acceptable free speech," the host insists. "If you ever see me being taken away in handcuffs, you'll know what's going on." After conspiracy theorists, emboldened online, notice that the victim's last boyfriend is cohabiting with a member of the military, Calvin gets threats from people who believe he's an actor. "I'm what's called a boundary technician," Calvin explains to Teddy. He monitors weaknesses in the networks, looks for breaches. Drnaso is an ace boundary technician as well. With his fluid framing - fitting anywhere from two to 24 panels to a page - he dictates information delivery, allowing the mind to breathe. His drawing style is at once poetically attuned to details of neighborhoods and interiors (the lit canopy of a gas station at night, the banquette at an antiseptic diner) and deceptively plain when it comes to the people who inhabit them. Figures are airtight yet textureless, with eyes like pinholes. Calvin is built along the hefty lines of Walt from "Gasoline Alley." Sabrina, with her Dorothy Hamili haircut, at first appears to be a man; Teddy, sporting a limp blond shag, resembles a woman. The fleeting sexiness of "Beverly" is absent, the characters' drabness somehow making their awful plight all the more intimate. "In Cold Blood" aestheticized the Clutter murders, mixing lurid details with gossamer prose. The fictional killing in "Sabrina" is disturbing, but Drnaso doesn't fixate on the gore or the culprit; he's more concerned with how the public claims and consumes it, spinning out morbid fantasies with impunity. Blink and you'll miss it: The first D.O.D. mental health survey we see is dated Sept. 11, 2017. The book's title might allude not to the fizzy Audrey Hepburn film, but to Sabrina Harman, one of the guards convicted of abuse at Abu Ghraib. Drnaso subtly suggests that the current climate of constant horror, weaponized by hashtags and spread by autofill, has its seeds in the fall of the Twin Towers and our response to the tragedy, ft's a shattering work of art. Michael kupperman's graphic memoir ALL THE ANSWERS (Gallery 13, $25) reaches back to a more distant history and a different kind of corrosive publicity. An irrepressible surrealist ("Tales Designed to Thrizzle"), here Kupperman restrains his loopier impulses as he excavates the life of his ailing father, Joel, who found fame as one of radio's celebrated "Quiz Kids." (Philip Roth mentions Joel in his novel "The Anatomy Lesson," and Salinger surely had him in mind when imagining the Glass spawn's turn on "ft's a Wise Child.") With an f.Q. of 219, 6-yearold Joel became the show's most popular contestant. Nicknamed "Baby Euclid," he received 10,000 pieces of fan mail a week and met a who's who of entertainment royalty, from Marlene Dietrich to Milton Berle. Joel continued to appear on the show past the "graduation" age of 16, but was savagely bullied in college by classmates who couldn't stand his know-it-all persona. He craved anonymity; he eventually became a university professor in Connecticut, writing books on ethics. Seeking to understand his father's nonexistent parenting style as Alzheimer's encroaches, Kupperman discovers that "the trauma has become almost visible to me as a negative shape." "All the Answers" works best as an account of an improbable life, with a peek at America's bygone celebrity culture and unquenchable thirst for entertainment. There's also a fascinating propaganda angle to consider: Three of the four main Quiz Kids were Jewish, as was the producer Louis G. Cowan, who (Kupperman theorizes) used the show to humanize the Jews in the thick of World War H. "Whether by design or accident," Joel was "a symbol because of his race." For an artist known for his off-kilter tableaus, this book has a static look, especially in its rendering of boldfaced names from the past. More problematic are the gaps: mysteries unsolved, re-creations that collapse under the weight of a disclaimer. Of a 1943 meeting between Joel and Henry Ford (once a vocal anti-Semite), Kupperman wonders, "What did they think of each other? There's no way of knowing." Later he complains: "1 don't know what 1 thought this book would be, or what good it could do." Beginning his project in frustration at his father, he ends in frustration with the project itself. ED park is the author of "Personal Days."


Library Journal Review

In Drnaso's enthralling sophomore effort (after the acclaimed Beverly), a woman named Sabrina vanishes from her Chicago apartment, leaving friends and family haunted by what might have befallen her. Unable to cope, her boyfriend Teddy takes refuge with his childhood friend Calvin, a U.S. Air Force airman struggling with the end of his marriage. When Sabrina's horrific fate is finally revealed, our cast find themselves at the center of a news cycle quickly warped by a paranoid, apocalyptic radio host and his legion of online supporters who refuse to believe the official story. Cinematic and deeply timely, this tale is torn from today's darkest headlines of fake news, terrorism, and the ultimately dehumanizing effect of the Internet. Drnaso's artwork seems basic at a glance, but page to page, panel to panel it reveals depths of emotion that culminate in a reading experience guaranteed to linger. VERDICT More indictment of modern life than satire, and almost sure to be one of the most discussed graphic novels of the year-if not the next several, this should skyrocket Drnaso to the top tier of comics creators today.-TB © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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