Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 108

The Realist

by Asaf Hanuka
Genre notes: life commentary, relationships, politics, memoir
192 pages
ISBN: 1608866882 (Amazon)

Asaf Hanuka (whose last name sounds like the holiday) is an Iranian Jew living in Israel, married to—shoot, I forget—a Polish Jew? He is an illustrator and cartoonist, twin brother of a more renown illustrator and cartoonist. THE REALIST is a collection of his one-page slice-of-life comics depicting life in Israel under threat of war, life married to a beautiful woman you love but maybe not as much as you love mobile games, life addicted to social media dings, life in a complex world in which nothing you do doesn't somehow participate in the suffering of others.

His comics are wry, mirthful, tragic, lovely, exuberant, and sad. And SUPER imaginative. Very few of his comics don't at least have some sort of magical realism going on in them.

And unlike a lot of smug, bullcrap political cartooning, Hanuka's succeed because he constantly indicts himself. He isn't pointing to other people and saying Lookit these morons. He's pointing at himself and saying, I am like this and man aren't I kind of a big dumb moron.

It sounds navel-gazey and obnoxious maybe, but it really works.

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