Vacancy by Jen Lee

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Nobrow is a relatively new comic book distributor from the UK that is giving indie developers their own platform to publish comic book style short stories, illustrations and art comics. Nobrow’s aim is to publish eco friendly books with magnificent quality. With the turn of each page, the each book has the ability to engage majority of a person’s senses. The comics’ smell like fresh carved wood, each page is cool to the touch and not waxy like typical comic book issues, and each story has a major artistic value. I mean, you can take page out of any book and hang it at any art gallery. Many of the stories aren’t about superheroes, supernatural events or fantasy, but have qualities of Aesop Fables; they explore questions of history, insecurities, self-discovery and morals.

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The first book I picked up from their inventory was Vacancy by Jen Lee. Vacancy is a new comic short story about a dog with glasses in a post apocalyptic future that realizes after years of waiting for his owners to return home, he is alone and has to venture out into new big bad world for the first time without guidance. Along the way, he befriends a raccoon and a deer for adventures in the wild. I know it sounds like a plot from a 90’s Nickelodeon Tv show, but this story was incredibly charming and warm-hearted. The main character, Simon the dog, makes you care about him instantly. He questions the world around him, but never himself. I found myself quickly relating to Simon, it’s clear he’s trying to embrace change and grow but has his doubts. As he progresses into the wild he knows he has to brave. Once again, the story is short but strong. The color choice is perfect for the story, warm orange lights the evening sky while dark greens and blues illuminate the shrubby. Art invites you into it’s world, it knows it’s tone and how it wants to show it’s beauty yet contrast it with broken and beating down landscapes. The book cost only $6.00; where you can purchase here. it’s worth it to have it in the collection to remind yourself that world can be scary at first glance, but if you brave on, you will be just fine.

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