Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (2018)

When I got a notification on my WordPress app that Paul from Paul’s Picks reviewed Sabrina, critically acclaimed graphic novel published last year, I thought – what a coincidence 🙂 I was just finishing the book myself, and I postponed reading of the review until I finished. It’s short and to the point, but let me present my take on Sabrina.

Author: Nick Drnaso

Title: Sabrina

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 204

Sabrina goes missing and her boyfriend Teddy, depressed and aimless, moves in with his high school friend Calvin, US Air Force soldier (the kind of warrior that specializes in IT) a few states away. Sabrina’s family suffers, things get bad and worse. Apart from that, Calvin’s ex-wife does not want him around their little daughter and he’s torn between his plan to move closer to them and try to get them back and career opportunities in the military.

Not much happens, actually, in terms of events.

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All around them the society is crumbling, people are disconnected and lonely, artificial and trivial when they spout nonsense they feel is expected from them to thoughtless journalists who need to feel 24/7 media with content. Internet, instead of being a cure for that and a venue for real people to connect, enables the craziest and most ruthless to propagate conspiracy theories for gain or just to share their crazy…

It’s a sick sad world and the form of this graphic novel perfectly matches its mood. Slow paced, detached, static, colours dimmed… there are pages of forum comments and pages with no text and not much going on.

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One of the failed attempts to break through the barriers that keep people apart…

I felt a sense of aloofness even in the rare good moments. Some characters try to connect to other people, but without much success. People rarely, if ever, really meet in that world. The violence inflicted makes no sense. Sabrina’s abductor, a particularly pathetic incel, kills himself and, ultimately, nobody get any absolution.

It’s a very good piece of art that will not make you happy.

It tells one side of the truth about our times, and makes me wanna desperately hang onto the good things around me.

Score: 8.5/10

15 thoughts on “Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (2018)

  1. What about the other side of the truth, then? 🙂 This one frankly sounds – and looks – more than a bit depressing… Not that I mind, actually, but your review left me with a wish for something happier (gasp, I know!) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! This sounds … intense. I hope you feel more hopeful, happier, for seeing that the world is not so unremittingly bleak?
    I’m not sure I could read this in my current state, but I’ll keep it in mind.

    Like

    • For me, the comic was emotionally powerful. It had to be, to properly tell such a story. The real world is, I’m glad to say, not as terrible, at least not all the time 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This really sounds much more depressing and disconnected than what I first thought it sounded like from Paul’s review hahahah I’m glad that you still somehow gained something from your reading experience though. Definitely got me curious enough to want to give it a try if given the opportunity. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, disconnected, that’s the good world. But it was a very conscious choice by the author, and it worked well for this particular story. It’s not a very pleasant lecture, but it is a very good one!

      Liked by 1 person

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