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32 Stories: The Complete Optic Nerve Mini-Comics Paperback – February 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896597009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896597003
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Adrian Tomine was born May 31st, 1974 in Sacramento, California. His uneventful childhood was spent in various small towns along the West Coast. He currently resides in Berkeley, where he studies English at the University of California and continues to write and draw Optic Nerve.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I really feel like he, as a writer, respects my own experiences and imagination when I read his comics.
Kristoffer Sevillena
Adrian Tomine is amongst the best independent comic book writers and it shows in a collection of some of his best work.
thuynh1@ic3.ithaca.edu
The art is great, the stories are cool, and you can see progress of a great comic artist unfold before your eyes.
Steven Abercrombie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
The 32 stories collected here reprint the self-published first seven issues of Tomine's "Optic Nerve" comic, spanning 1991-95. While his Tomine's work is always enjoyable on at least some level, reading his earliest work in chronological order allows us to witness him grow as a writer and artist�warts and all. The earliest stories tend to be short two-page pieces, while the last stories tend to be longer narratives.
The stories fall into a few rough categories: dreams (Adrian Tomine's 10, 533rd Dream, Haircut), the Amy quartet (Solitary Enjoyment, Rodney, Two In the Morning, Leather Jacket), autobiographical vignettes (Sean's Story, Disappointment and Despair, Back Break, This is A True Story, Adrian Quits Hi Job, Psycho Cook, An Everyday Triumph, My Appearance on the Jane Pratt Show, Allergic, The Sell-Out), and moodier stories that deal with loneliness, alienation, and relationships (Lifter, Smoke, Happy Anniversary, Stammer, Laundry, Dine and Dash, Grind). There are also some crude attempts at social commentary (Patriotism is Alive and Kicking), reportage (Heat Wave Death), biography (Kerouac's Life With Comics), and an amusing tirade against sleep (Sleep = Waste).
Over the course of the book, we can see Tomine's increasingly sophisticated take on alienation and relationships. His artistic progression progresses from crude to totally exacting and precise, a style that reinforces his themes and storytelling. This trend is continued in his subsequent collection, Sleepwalk and Other Stories, which is more bleak and stark. Tomine is often compared to Raymond Carver�since I've never read any Carver I won't do that, however, I will say he is brilliant and his work deserves a wide audience.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "santoslhalper" on February 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
"32 Stories" really works on many levels: as an insight into the artistic evolution of Tomine, as a showcase for his talents (ranging from wacky illustrations to downright sobering dissections of failed relationships), and as a collection of stories exploring the realities of isolation in modern life. While "Allergic" is many fans' favorite strip here (no doubt due to its offbeat, exaggerated artwork and sadistic humor), Tomine *really* shows his talent in stories like "Smoke," "Train I Ride," and "Haircut," which combine his considerable story-telling abilities with cutting, poignant images that tell a thousand words. Stories like these also serve nicely as prototypes for the later, more sophisticated Optic Nerve comics that Drawn & Quarterly would release.
Please do smaller merchants and independent distributors a favor and order this book from your local bookstore, or directly from Drawn & Quarterly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
you can watch Adrian Tomine's work mature in this book drastically...it goes from bad silliness to incredible...incredibleness. Some of the stories in the middle and towards the end are just...wow. It's sad his drawing style got a lot straighter and neater...we can see here his early scratchy sketchy wild artwork along with some great stories like "Smoke".
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Okay, I'm bias. I have a crush on the man but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy Adrian's work. He brings about bittersweet narratives that are not unlike Carver's own. '32 Stories' collects the mini-comics he put out in the early 90's. These are the stories that made me confess undying love for his work...(give me a break, I was 14 and melodramatic.) This collection defintely shows the great range Tomine can work with and will easily become a book that you will reccomend easily to friends.
'Sleepwalk' contains his more heavy-hearted work and '32 stories' carries his more cynically humorous self published endeavors with his comic, Optic Nerve. I highly reccomend both.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lady detective on May 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
adrian tomine does a fantastic job of capturing the mundane, everyday details of life- turning them into funny little slices.
don't expect a strong narrative to run through the book. each of the 32 stories run from 1-6 pages and only carry a few repeat characters.
the stories are 32 tiny vignettes capturing little bits of life- random thoughts, dreams, small experiances (which manage to capture a much larger picture, and that's the brilliance of it), etc.
don't be dismayed if the first few comics aren't that great; once you get further into the work it's fascinating to see how tomine's art and story arcs mature.
my only complaint, and the reason i gave the book 4 instead of 5 stars, is that i finished the book in about half an hour. although it's well worth reading, and something i'll pick up and read again, i strongly suggest buying the cheapest copy you can find. 90 odd pages (and they're small pages)of drawings do not add up to the fairly high retail price.
do try to pick a copy up. tomine has a voice not to be missed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Perry on July 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
A wonderful collection of Adrian Tomine's earliest published stories. If you have read none of his work before this might not be the way to be introduced to this great writer and artist. Look to any of the Optic Nerve collections for that. But if you want to see the evolution of an important writer and see where things began then this is the book for you.
These early stories hint at the stories that come later. They offer insight and humor and it is fascinating to see how Tomine's art began.
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