An airport. A desert. A small island in the middle of the ocean. Odd diners and sleepless nights in small hotel rooms. I’m Never Coming Back is a comic book collection of stories preoccupied with the sense of detachment and the non-belonging to a place and time. The book contains the odd sometimes grungy, sometimes surreal experiences of its characters, which are tackling melancholy each on their own. They are short snippets, bite-sized narratives that don’t fit anywhere in time or history, but feel gigantic on the personal level.
When moving places and moving through times, one’s personality is never exactly an accumulation of the past, isn’t it? It’s a collection of fragments – those that haven’t been lost or left in the previous place and those that have been gained through the new experiences. And the days can become somber because of the unavoidable lightness that time carries with itself through the inevitable loss of the people and memories.
There is no huge historical context in I’m Never Coming Back. Like, it’s not a critique on modernity, it doesn’t try to go into deep structural issues or tackle any issue of social significance. The artwork is full of muted, earthy tones. The character illustrations focus on expression, not proportion or accuracy and it brings that sense of an “indie“ authenticity to it. It is not a ground-breaking or life-changing book, but for me that made it a pleasant read: I’ve missed those tiny stories which don’t carry any weight and ambition with them, but just tip-toe gently into the surreal emotional desert of its characters.