Blink: So Far
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There is that period of time in life just after college but before adulthood has completely set in. It’s the time where the world feels fresh and exciting. Even if not everything is possible, it does feel like there are more options than not.
There has been plenty of art created about this time — from literature to movies — and most end up with a kind of navel-gazing, what-does-it-all-mean perspective. Refreshingly, Max Ink‘s Blink: So Far (ONWARDStudio/self-published, 2011) focuses more on the freedom of this time. Focusing on two friends — Blink, a cartoonist who’s a bit a dreamer; and Sam, a realist who is maybe hiding a sensitive heart. They drift in and out of coffee shops and bookstores, take walks outside, sit around bonfires, all the while chatting and trying to figure out their lives.
It may not sound particularly thrilling — it is a book of comics that is mostly two women having conversations, after all — but Ink handles these characters gracefully. Blink and Sam tease and reassure each other as only two best friends can. Sam playfully harasses Blink for crossword puzzle answers in “Time and Few Words” but then kindly comforts her through self-doubt in “A Brief, Hopeless Case.” Ink includes details such as that Sam likes blues and Blink likes Beat poetry, giving his characters a certain realism they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Ink’s art is airy and light. He enjoys drawing outdoor scenes and includes plenty of white space around his characters. His panels and pages never feel cluttered. He also has a remarkably joyful sense of body language and posture. Sam carries herself with a defensive strength and Blink is more open and carefree. His ability to express these characters personalities not only through their facial expressions and dialogue but also their presence on the page adds depth. Blink and Sam end up feeling less like characters and people you could easily know.
Blink: So Far is quiet and thoughtful and I’d hate for it to get overlooked just because of that. I was amazed at how quickly I became attached to these people and their stories. I can’t wait to find out more about Blink and Sam and their lives. But I’ll enjoy hanging out with them in this book until then.
Review copy provided by Max Ink.