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Sin Titulo Hardcover – October 8, 2013
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1: Take the binding off the book and give all the pages to a friend. For best results, give them to a friend who enjoys torturing you and has a lot of patience.
2: Have the friend look at the webcomic version and note the dates of each update.
3: Ask your friend to mail you each page according to the intervals at which they were posted on the site. For example, if the comic goes six months between pages, you have to wait six months to get the next page.
This will provide you with several years worth of entertainment. If you read it all in an afternoon, the mystery will be ruined.
Sin Titulo is one of those "dislodged in time and space" stories where the protagonist finds himself waking up on a beach, and then waking up in a car, and then waking up in a hospital, wondering whether he's capable of distinguishing between dreams and reality. The theme is familiar. Sometimes stories like this work, sometimes they don't. San Titulo has enough twists to make it seem fresh, and the characters are convincing. It kept me guessing and that's what a story like this should do. Of course, the ultimate question is whether it makes sense at the end. Well, yeah, kind of. I think. Maybe. Actually, I need to read it again before I can answer that. But the ending is powerful even if it doesn't make sense, and that scored a lot of points with me.
The minimalist art goes well with the story.
Alex Mackay finds his world unraveling when he goes to collect his estranged and recently deceased grandfather's belongings. In them, he finds a picture of his father with a beautiful young woman - completely at odds with his memories of an acerbic old drunk loner left abandoned in a rest home by his father. In trying to find the identify of this woman, Alex will be led down a rabbit hole of mystery, terror, self realization, and fantasy. It may cost him everything he has - or restore all that he has lost.
The artwork is clean, modernistic, and two color - beige and black. It blends perfectly with the story as it moves from real to surreal then back to real again. Stewart's illustrations neither overshadow nor are eclipsed by the narrative. Text is easy to read and Stewart masterfully avoids the need for excessive descriptions. The mystery and overall arc unfolds organically to an ending that pulls all the strands together beautifully. We are drawn in as inexorably as Alex is himself.
Sin Titulo is a very compelling read - one of those rare gems worthy of second and third readings to fully understand all the nuances. It doesn't pander to readers but also doesn't try to be too tricky. Intellectually satisfying but also a guilty pleasure into the realm of modern noir.