Tonoharu: Part One by Lars Martinson

For some reason no matter how many books I have in the TBR pile I always seem to grab a book when I visit the library. Just can’t go without checking something out.

Yesterday while visiting the library with my family, the graphic novel Tonoharu caught my eye and so I checked it out. I read it in one sitting and enjoyed it once I got the hang of reading a graphic novel – not something I do a lot of.  The art work, which drew me to the book in the first place, is clean and elegant while still having the element of a comic about it.

And once I got going I found the story line – about a assistant English teacher in Japan struggling with assimilation, language barriers, loneliness, etc. – well done. The panels balance the need to tell the story with both words and the art.  The incredible challenge of going to a foreign country and trying meet new people, start a new job and establish some sort of routine or life is communicated through the interactions and the surroundings.  All with a dry sense of humor.

Only one small problem: the libraries in town only seem to have part one in this planned four part series.  Part one ends rather abruptly and so I feel like I am just hanging on the edge with no ability to find out what happened. A frustrating introduction to the artists work.

I guess I will just have to track down part two on own (and then wait patiently for parts three and four).

For those of you, like me, who are unfamiliar with the world of the graphic novel and Lars work in particular you can check out his website and the below video for more information

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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