Flower & Fade
by Jesse Lonergan
It's a pleasure to sometimes find a graphic novel I'd heard nothing about from a creator I knew nothing about, and have that comic turn out to be quite good. Jesse Lonergan's recent Flower & Fade is just such a graphic novel. It tells the story of a relationship--one between protagonist Kyle and his pretty neighbor Erika--from beginning to end, starting with the initial infatuation and hitting all the beats through to the bittersweet end.
Lonergan tells his story through a series a vignettes, each leading off with a title and a date over a six month period. There are no thought balloons, but Lonergan has a way with both dialog and emotions expressed through body language that gets across how the characters are feeling and relating. The art is an important part of the story; it may appear simple at first glace but really isn't, and Lonergan does a good job at pacing and moving the eye through the story; he also makes a great use of using blacks and contrast to set the tone.
Most importantly, Flower & Fade has a ring of truth about it. Many times I saw episodes from past relationships of my own being reflected in the story I was reading. It may not be a world-changing graphic novel, but Flower & Fade succeeds quite well in what it sets out to do.
Rating: 4 (of 5).