FICTION
PTSD
illus. by Guillaume Singelin. 208p. First Second. Feb. 2019. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781626723184.
COPY ISBN
Jun's past has become a prison. A recent survivor of a nameless war, she traverses the streets of a Tokyo-inspired city, sleeping under a bridge, lost in a world that has forgotten and rejected her. Nightmares merge with sleepless nights, and post-traumatic stress disorder shapes her experiences. Jun soon finds herself waging her own war by stealing prescription drugs from a gang that withholds medical resources from the displaced veterans. Though her fellow vets try to help her, they also blame her for causing trouble and making an already dangerous situation worse. While questioning her own choices, Jun slowly opens up to gentle, concerned Leona, a local ramen shop owner who makes sure Jun and the other veterans are fed. At the heart of her recovery is her dog Red, a fiercely loyal Shiba Inu, who gives Jun hope in her darkest moments. French-Laotian creator Singelin creates a gritty and suffocatingly detailed atmosphere, with candy-coated coloring that ebbs into a grimy color wash. The illustrator plays with typical proportions, imbuing the chibi-style characters a cuteness that's at odds with the surrounding artwork. The overall result is discomfiting, reflecting the heroine's anxiety.
VERDICT Teens interested in cutting-edge comics will appreciate this eerie tale.

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