Monday, July 28, 2014

On the Coffee Table: Rutu Modan

Title: Exit Wounds
Writer and Artist: Rutu Modan
via Amazon
Koby is a young taxi driver in Tel Aviv.  He shares the cab business with the aunt and uncle with whom he lives.  His life gets turned upside-down when a young woman he doesn't know tells him she believes his estranged father may have been killed in a suicide bombing.  The woman, Numi, was his father's lover and has not heard from him since the attack.  One victim is still unidentified so the two new friends (Koby, reluctantly) embark on a quest to link the body to the missing man.

While Israeli/Palestinian tensions are crucial to the plot, creator Modan avoids addressing the political issues directly.  In fact, the words Arab and Palestinian are never even used.  Instead, the story focuses on relationships including, eventually, the one developing between Koby and Numi as their mystery unravels.  Of the two, I found Numi to be the more appealing character.  It's the sort of romance where it's easier to understand in one direction than the other.  It's clear what he sees in her, not so much the other way around, except for Koby's resemblance to his father.

Modan's artwork is simple and uncluttered, her text also to the point.  The story is very sweet at times but pain is also clearly evident.  Exit Wounds is Modan's first full-length graphic novel and a potent debut, winning the 2008 Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Novel.

11 comments:

  1. I love the artwork on this; we're talking above average talent.

    Why am I not on the graphic novel bandwagon yet? This all seems so "up my alley" and I am thankful that I get some exposure by reading your blog. I'm starting a new read list and this is going on it. I'm thinking I am going to the wrong bookstores. :-)

    Colonel Squid! I salute you!
    Cherdo
    www.cherdoontheflipside.com

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    1. Actually, finding a great bookstore was a big part of graphic novel exploration at our house. We try to hit Drawn and Quarterly in Montreal every few months or so. D&Q is, in fact, a publishing house specializing in sequential art (fancy pants term for comic books). They're online: www.drawnandquarterly.com

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  2. Sounds like an interesting pony of view.

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    1. Thanks, Lady L. No ponies in this one. ;^)

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    1. Israeli/Palestinian tensions are a hot topic these days, so this book is very topical.

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    2. That is certainly true. And will be for the foreseeable future.

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  4. art work is excellent! The theme is definitely a thoughtful and timely one.

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