BeverlyGraphic Novel - 2016
Nick Drnaso's comics mercilessly reveal the sterile sameness of the suburbs.
Connected by a series of gossipy teens, the modern lost souls of Beverly struggle with sexual anxieties that are just barely repressed and social insecurities that undermine every word they speak.
A group of teenagers pick up trash on the side of the highway--flirting, preening, and ignoring a potentially violent loner in their midst. A college student brings her sort-of boyfriend to a disastrous house party with her high-school acquaintances. A young woman experiences a traumatic incident at the pizza shop where she works and the fallout reveals the racial tensions simmering below the surface. Again and again, the civilized façade of Drnaso's pitch-perfect surburban sprawl and pasty Midwestern protagonists cracks in the face of violence and quiet brutality.
Drnaso's bleak social satire in Beverly reveals a brilliant command of the social milieu of twenty-first-century existence, echoing the black comic work of Todd Solondz, Sam Lipsyte, and Daniel Clowes. Precisely and hauntingly recounted, each chapter of Beverly reveals something new--and yet familiar--about the world in which we live.