To fans of Black Mirror, Jillian Tamaki‘s new graphic novel Boundless provides an earnest, but less foreboding, look at the ways in which technology and modern living can go awry. In each story, This One Summer co-author Tamaki draws from all-too-real anxieties about life in the social media age, mashing them up with a Kafkaesque sense of magical realism that leaves the reader feeling refreshed, instead of weighed down.
That’s not to say that Boundless is not a weighty book. Between its covers are a world in which profiles on a Facebook clone site take on lives of their own, a woman’s size reduction alienates her from the rest of society, and the residents of one city suddenly find that they can communicate with animals. Behind each of these stories is a message, or perhaps multiple messages, designed to provoke a deeper level of thought on the utter oddity of our everyday lives. However, unlike Black Mirror, which has become popular for much the same reason, Boundless and its moral lessons each contain a glimmer of hope for the future.
For those readers who believe that graphic novels are all superhero beat-em-ups, Boundless may serve as a broadening of horizons. Tamaki tells a handful of complete, cohesive stories in this admittedly bulky tome, and although all of her tales share the central theme of social anxiety, they venture far from the sort of “traditional” graphic novel fare that restricts itself to a single narrative. That fact alone makes Boundless the perfect graphic novel for both newbies to the genre and hardcore fans looking for something a little bit different.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.
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