Little Nothings: The Prisoner Syndrome Review

Lewis Trondheim's second volume of Little Nothings might be better than the first, and since I thought that the first was one of the ten best comics of 2008, you can safely assume that I thought that this book was excellent.

Little Nothings consists of Lewis Trondheim's blog entries about, well, you know, the little nothings of life. However small each story might seem at first, when you read over 120 of them in a row, it creates this wonderfully complex detail of Trondheim's life.

The name of the title comes from a psychological syndrome that affects people who spend their days not doing anything for long periods of time (like prisoners). When you constantly don't do anything, you grow more and more tired and eventually lose the desire to ever do anything. Trondheim tries to avoid this syndrome by constantly keeping busy, and his various misadventures all over the globe are related in his blog entries (collected here).

The watercolor artwork by Trondheim is beautiful, but it's really the stories that make the work so amazing.

Here's an example of a typical page from the book, just a one-off little day-in-the-life joke....

You get enough of those, though, and you really begin to learn Trondheim's character.

What's also great is that Trondheim is not afraid of showing the less-nice side of himself...

Since this is "day-in-the-life," you're basically dealing with whatever comes your way, and perhaps the most gripping part of the book is this section where he deals with the death of one of the family cats...

When you mix in the various random jokes (like a bit where his son informs him before a visit to South Africa to be careful, because South Africa has the most cases of AIDS in the world) with all the small character-building pieces on top of the wonderful artwork, and you just have one of the most compelling, complete reading experiences imaginable.

You can read more sample pages at NBM Publishing's web page for this volume here.

Highly Recommended (I bet it'll be on my Best of 2009 Top Ten, as well).

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