Monday, September 22, 2014

Nowhere Girl

Well, I can't very well come up with a song reference for a webcomic titled after a song, but it bears mentioning this is what I was reading several times over in my sophomore year of college a decade ago in between listening to Solitude Standing, So Like A Rose or The Day the World Went Away. At 3 a.m. Having not left my room in two days except for the bathroom. Aanyhooo...

Sometimes an author wants to create a more involved story which begs a certain amount of foreshadowing, an introduction to a premise or one of the characters. Sometimes these preludes, neatly focused on its more poignant aspects, can end up much more memorable than the bulk of a story. We'll never know whether this is the case with Nowhere Girl, as only its first two chapters ever made it online. But whether it would have become a relationship slice-of-life or some cyberpunk virtual reality adventure makes little difference because the first part, Imaginary Friend, stands on its own as every nobody's tale of alienation.

Nowhere Girl does not have a very original premise, nor any grand speculative forays into the unknown. It might be taken for social critique, though the social ill targeted for criticism has been fading slightly. However you don't need to share Jamie Adler's social dilemmas to identify with her utter hopelessness and loneliness. Anyone who's been a punching bag or a ghost in high school then escaped only to find the world at large but a larger prison will easily slip into Jamie's mindset of clinging to one last desperate irrational hope. It's sad, beautiful, satisfying, it's the false optimism you so badly need if you've ever been utterly alone in a five-hundred-student dormitory.

It's forty-three pages and an excellent introduction to the possibilities of comics as an artistic medium, and it contains one of the greatest lines I've ever read:
"At least the world has the decency to rain today."

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