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Local Hardcover – October 2, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Megan McKeenan, a very young woman, sits at the heart of these 12 interconnected stories that are pulled together in the final two chapters into a well-worked, cohesive novel. Each story is set in a very specific North American place, from Portland, Oregon, to Richmond, Virginia, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Austin, Texas. In them, Megan is engaged in the multifaceted journey of finding herself as well as in the physical journey so many stops involve. Through them, Wood explores how she reworks her role from scene to scene and in her developing life again and again: practicing identities, shifting reasoning to protect ego, daring to remember and re-engage the past. Kelly’s black-and-white art bursts with details that make each place as well as more immediate spaces, such as Megan’s car, vibrant and multidimensional. Combining road saga, bildungsroman, and existentialism, Local has something to suit the tastes of readers who already like Capote, or Kerouac, or Albertine Sarrazin, and has the potential for leading others to explore such more traditional, equally nuanced storytellers. --Francisca Goldsmith

Review

"This graphic novel in 12 short stories follows punky dreamer Megan McKeenan as she roams America. Each short represents a different year in a different city, as she takes odd jobs, gets into creepy relationships and lives the extended childhood of many 20-somethings. Though she often lies and gets into dodgy situations, Megan approaches people with the instinctive wisdom that only young wanderers have. Wood, author of the hugely popular comic DMZ, has created a contemporary ballad to the idea of the open road. It's both frightening and freeing to see how identity can be as fluid as location. Megan moves from state to state, dealing with roommates and dead-end jobs and looking for an existence that befits her intelligence and desire for authenticity. She's not a lost cause; she simply chooses, for personal reasons, to drift a while." --NPR - Best Graphic Novels Of 2008

"This is the quintessential "must own" indie comic and a piece of material that should grace every discerning reader's bookcase everywhere." --Ain't It Cool News

"LOCAL is the kind of book that you could base an entire career on; it's some of the strongest work I've seen from Wood and Kelly, and it doesn't surprise me that it's also the most attractive collected edition I've seen from Oni Press. From the metallic fifth ink on the lower half of the front cover, to the soft cloth binding on the spine, it's a truly handsome book that you'll want to have on your bookshelf. I was also delighted to see that the back of the book collected not only Wood and Kelly's essays from the original issues, but color reproductions of the covers and even the guest-artist pin-ups, all of which could have been easily left out. LOCAL is a really remarkable book, both in terms of what Wood and Kelly initially planned on doing, and in the final execution. This is, easily, one of the books of the year. Prepare to take a trip around the United States and Canada with Megan McKeenan. Trust me, you won't regret it." --Comic Book Resources

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oni Press; First Edition edition (October 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193496400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934964002
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cai Yixin Jeremy on September 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Big, beautiful and hefty. These things come to mind when you're actually holding this puppy and flipping through the pages. The black and white art really pops out and, while reading it, you always get a sense that this could be the best thirty bucks you've spent on a graphic novel. Just an amazing collection of stories.

Megan, our main character in Local, goes through a personal life journey. She is the everyman in a world full of everymen, and I think that's the main appeal of this book. We see abit of ourselves in Megan and in the other characters. We can identify with her struggles, her struggles with her own identity, with her purpose, with her life. It's what everyone of us goes through on a daily basis, and that reason is why we take to Megan's world very quickly.

Patterned after Demo but not quite. These are single issue self-contained stories dealing with different periods in Megan's life (from young adult to adult). Many of them feature Megan as the main focus, while the rest are more about the peripheral characters rather than Megan herself. But one thing's for sure, she appears in everyone of them, and she, I think, is the touchbase on which we fall back on most of the time, thus making her feel real and human.

And the pacing's very suited to that kind of storytelling. Here, like Demo, you'll feel like you're getting to know the characters at a leisurely pace. Every detail in Ryan's art gives you just a little bit more insight into the characters and at the end of it you always come away feeling like you know them like you would real people. Everyone of these characters feel very three dimensional, and I think this is a testament to the level of maturity in both Brian and Ryan. Brian knows how people tick, and Ryan does a good job depicting that here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ricky Pooski on October 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Even if this book had kept to its original conceit of a travelogue throughout America, I would have loved it. I might not be gushing about it and wanting to recommend it to all of my friends but I would have been quite happy with it. The first few chapters stay pretty close to the Mission Statement. Every issue has another year passing and sees Megan in a different city. Brian Woods writes it and Ryan Kelly draws and they try to get the details right so residents of those cities can smile with the shout out and debate whether or not they got the character of the cities correct. And the second one takes place in Minneapolis, so I'm cool with it. I live in New York now where EVERYTHING is drawn and photographed for movies and television shows and books; but the novelty of seeing my home town in media still makes me happy. Hell, even that passing reference in the first issue of Buddy Does Seattle (The Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from "Hate" Comics, Vol. I, 1990-94) made me happy. And if you are showing Purple Rain, I'm there - happily pointing out that that is NOT Lake Minnetonka. In the back, they talk about what went into the issue. They also talk about how Megan began as an everywoman character to represent most people in their 20s (Generation X put a label on a particular group of former 20-somethings but this is pretty universal) and she is rootless and confused like most people in their 20s.

Many have noted that she's like almost every other main character in Indy comics but that's the problem with the genre.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andre 2015 on October 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you like short stories about urban youths this one's for you.
Coming of age - like to read about that? Get this.
This great book offers the entire 12 part series previously published by Oni Press as single books.
Local is the story of Megan McKeenan on her way to find herself.
She meets ordinary people on the way, and lesser ones too. She works here and there, falls in and out of love and lives through all the different stages of happiness and deception in much the same way that we all do.
Very much like in real life every encounter leaves a memory and shapes Megan's character.
As you follow the girl/ young woman on her journey through the different US towns and states you can't stop yourself from remembering your own past and what changed you along the way. Who and what made you into the person you have grown to be?
Although the stories are interconnected, once you finish reading the entire storyline it's just as rewarding to read them crisscross all over again.
The art perfectly fits the scene. Black and white, always moving, with thick lines yet sketchy. Well done Ryan Kelly!
Brian Wood's writing is top notch. Period.
The collection, a perfectly sewn bound HC, comes with tons of sketches, notes from both artists on the creative process and a color cover gallery.
You should also check out these other books: Brian Wood: Demo, DMZ ; Ryan Kelly: American Virgin, New York Four
A must!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The multi-award winning collection of Local is a true oddity, as the components are genuinely good, without really having much to recommend it as a collection. How's that for bizarre praise?

Local is a collection of interrelated stories, all following one young woman's daily adventures as she lives in various cities across North America.

Some of the stories are humorous, some are bittersweet, some are a little frightening.

My issue was that, the gaps between them are such that, although I can see the physical connections, I have a hard time plotting the line of character growth between all the dots. Megan is sometimes mature, sometimes... completely crazy. And her spontaneous transformation between the two was hard for my imagination to encompass. Worse yet, the 'concluding' story was a tangled mess - leaving a bad taste in my mouth, as it was an over-serious attempt to package some sort of emotional resolution into an otherwise fragmented series. Megan is an excellent plot device, but as a lead character, lacked the consistency needed to generate any sort of empathy.

Still... great individual stories. Perhaps they were better left uncollected?
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