Exit Wounds- Rutu Modan
After a suicide bombing in Hadera, Koby Franco is contacted by a soldier named Numi and told that his father, Gabriel, may have died in the blast- all she knows is that he’s missing, the scarf she knit for him was found at the scene, and there’s still an as-yet unidentified body. They set out to Tel-Aviv to follow a series of clues reconstructing Gabriel’s movements on the day of the bombing, and discover that you can never get close enough to truly know another person, be you lover or next of kin.
These themes of intimacy and estrangement set against the backdrop of modern-day Tel Aviv are characteristic of Modan’s work, but haven’t had the opportunity to be anything much more than briefly entertaining or, at best, fleetingly poignant in many of her shorter works. In Exit Wounds, her first full-length graphic novel, her storytelling capabilities are given room to develop.
Her pacing is smart, snappy, and rapid without being hectic and threaded with a subtle humor. While her somewhat rigid, almost pedestrian approach to paneling was initially off-putting, it complements her straightforward storytelling approach and her rendering style, which is reminiscent of Hergé at his best (smooth, fluid lines and flat swaths of rich color). Exit Wounds is a really lovely balance of image and narrative, and it’s totally in the library for your perusal. Check it out.
~Andrea De Leon