Watching Days Become Years

Written & Art by Jeff LeVine

Published by Sparkplug Comic Books
Price: $4.50

My Verdict: Thoughtful.

In a study of the repetitions of day to day life that can seriously mess you up--if you either stop to think about them too long, or perhaps not stop to think about them at all--Jeff LeVine brings you the adventures of himself (although the lead character is never really named, if you want to get all pissy about it). What does Jeff do? Well, he lives. That's the best way of putting it. As the title suggests and the Kierkegaard quote on the inside front cover hammers home, these are the moments that make up a life.

There's no real narrative thread running through this, nor should there be. It's pretty much little haikus in comic form, celebrating the worth of having a bed nearby to flop on, or having nothing to do, or at the very least having no idea what tomorrow will bring. There's celebration to be had here, but there's an undercurrent of darkness as well. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the book is when, during a contemplative walk across a bridge, a passenger in a passing truck yells "Jump!" At first glance, Jeff's reaction seems to be one of passive disbelief--you know, "Oh, for Christ's sake." But the look on his face--is it...consideration? Or am I just morbid as hell?

LeVine's artwork is usually simplistic line drawings, but he can branch out into what reminds me of what Muth's stuff would look like if Muth were sketching a simple apartment--and also into some fairly detailed and rich illustrations of a morning walk to his job. This makes perfect sense as it stresses how well he knows the locale and also his conclusion about what "most of life" really is.

This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to just get away from "mainstream" comics--whatever the hell that means--and take a look at everyday things through someone else's eyes. It's worth more than a single read, since there is much going on in the pages of the book that you should be willing to uncover.

Buy it from Sparkplug's website!

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