This is a thoughtful, moving graphic novel about an art school grad trying to square her hopes and principles with a world that isn’t really willing to allow them. Even though this might sound like a cliche, Reality Bites-type sensitive-arty-20-something-agonizes-over-the-constraints-of-society…well, actually, it is that, but it doesn’t feel tired or hackneyed.
In it, we follow Caroline as she struggles to both pursue an art career and afford rent with said art career. Though that kind of boiler plate sounds pretty uninspired, Caroline is a distinct enough voice that she brings nuance and interest back to a deflated trope. And then the story takes an unexpected turn when Caroline publishes a young adult graphic novel…to wild success. Here, the book now explores what it might look like if this struggling artist type were to seize the dream of artistic success. And it looks like hell. (If you know anything about book publishing, the words “publicity tour” are probably enough.) Because, as the book shows, even though the world of the everyday isn’t accommodating of artists, the world of success and fame is even less so.
Caroline is a complex and relatable character presented in such a way that her struggles feel personal and real. Cannonball manages to transform a cliched notion into an original and affecting exploration of hope, friendship, and the creeping existential dread that is adulthood.
|Page Count||272 pages|
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