Things Undone

Writer / Artist
Things Undone
Things Undone graphic novel review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: NBM Comics Lit - 1-56163-563-4
  • Release date: 2009
  • UPC: 9781561635634
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

The sheer variety of themes and species in contemporary cartooning can be quite breathtaking compared to the restricted comics fare baby-boomers in Britain grew up with. These days readers can peruse a graphic novel on any subject in any style and incorporating any number of converging genres. This compelling gem comes pretty close to defying categorisation.

Shane White’s Things Undone is a little bit romance, a little bit alternative biography, a little bit punk and a whole lot of terrific. Young Rick Watts is an artist and world-weary peon in the art-consuming field of video games graphics. He’s just moved to Seattle for a new job, but nothing’s really changed, and relationship-wise things aren’t going so great either. Long distance never works so he dragged his girlfriend clear across the country, and his seven year hitch with her couldn’t have ended more badly.

When you can’t catch a break and the new life proves no better than the old one, what can a guy do? And it’s only a matter of time before somebody notices that Rick is a zombie, what with him leaving decaying extremities and eyeballs and such like all over the place. Maybe he should just get a gun and do the job right!

This sharp and bittersweet examination of modern life is funny and poignant, using the populist imagery of the walking dead as an effective metaphor for modern life, but it’s the amazingly comforting art and production that underpins this tale. The book is printed in black, white and shocking orange, in a kind of raucous skate-punk cartoon style, which makes the tragic comedic, and makes confusion the means of exploring the mundane horrors of urban living.

Clever, witty and one of the most sensitive funny/sad, real/imaginary stories you’ll ever read. Track this down and change your life.