Little Nothings Vol. 4: My Shadow in the Distance graphic novel
Writer/Artist/Cover artist: Lewis Trondheim
Translation: Joe Johnson
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Price: $14.99 US
As someone who loves the medium of comics and has been writing about them for years, I’m obviously familiar with Lewis Trondheim’s name, but I have to confess, this is the first time I’ve sat down and read his work. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from him, but now that I have, I know what to expect next: I expect I’ll be reading more of his comics. This collection of one-page, slice-of-life cartoons are eminently relatable, and the universality of Trondheim’s ‘toons becomes even more apparent when one considers this book is a translation of work originally crafted and presented in French. Loosely linked by a theme of the creator’s international travels, the book definitely reads better in shorter spurts. There’s not much in the way of an overarching plotline to provide a stronger connection and flow. Nevertheless, Trondheim’s honesty about the fleeting, neurotic thoughts that pass through his mind at any given moment is as touching as his ability to poke fun at his little foibles. As for his approach to the character designs, his intent is clear. The book is about exposing common human experience, and the simple designs reinforce the relatability of the work, allowing the reader to insert himself or herself into each situation.