The Last Lonely Saturday

By Jordan Crane (Fantagraphics Books)
ISBN: 978-1-56097-743-8 (HB)

Award-winning Jordan Crane is a child of the 1970s and first garnered notice in comics circles with his 1996 anthology NON: an experimental vehicle very much in the manner of Art Spiegelman’s Raw and latterly quarterly anthology Uptight.

Working far too slowly for my greedy appetites, he’s also released a trio of graphic novels to date, Col-Dee, children’s adventure The Clouds Above and this one – his first and most moving.

Available in both hardcover and digital editions, The Last Lonely Saturday is crafted in a strange blend of vivid-yet-muted reds and yellows and comedically lugubrious cartoon style. Delivered in two panels per page, it recounts – almost exclusively without dialogue – one quiet day in August when a lonely widower once again diligently makes his way to the florist’s, the cemetery and inevitably the grave of his beloved Elenore.

It’s a ritual he’s enacted for many years, indulging in bittersweet memories as he clings to life while yearning to be reunited with his truly beloved. However, as the endless duty unfolds, events take an oblique turn and melancholy whimsy becomes something more as we’re reminded that it’s not just the living who feel the pangs of loss or yearn for reunion…

Smart, charming, witty and devilishly wry, this is a lost delight that proves the deceptive potency of comics and enduring power of love.
© 2000 Jordan Crane. All rights reserved.