Monday, January 31, 2011

Graphic Novel Monday: REVIEW: Sunny Side Down, by Lev Yilmaz

Sunny Side Down: A Collection of Tales of Mere Existence, by Lev Yilmaz. Published 2009 by Gallery. Paperback.

Sunny Side Down isn't a cohesive graphic novel as such, but rather a collection of comics in Lev Yilmaz's Tales of Mere Existence series. His style is reminscent of Matt Groening's Life in Hell comics; there are lots of checklists, square panels and "12 Types of Girlfriends" sort of comics, and his subject is mostly himself, his love life and his career and his lack of success therein. Let's just say, he doesn't come across as an optimist. But he's funny.

Here's one of his videos from his YouTube channel:

I've been a fan of his for a while now, since I first stumbled on one of his Tales zines at a local comics store, complete with a DVD of some animations similar to those on YouTube. I like his blase and self-deprecating style; it's the not the kind of book I could read cover to cover all at once, but it's fun to dip into his comics when I need a chuckle.

I'd recommend Sunny Side Down to folks who like cynicism and sarcastic humor. They're bleak but funny and touch on everyday life in a way that I think a lot of people can relate to with a unique and memorable voice. I don't have much else to say about Yilmaz's work. You'll just have to check it out for yourself sometime.

Rating: BUY

I'm a Powell's partner and receive a small commission on sales.

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.