“You’re only half alone.”
As CAFKL4 nears, I've been looking at previous comics I've gotten in the previous festivals. This was one of them.
Sometimes, the pictures we see of other people’s lives seem to be rosier as compared to our own. This collection of comics takes a glimpse into certain windows – windows of different people, together with the joys, the worries, the fears, and the surprises of their own lives – and how things behind those windows happen. So, before going into the details of this book, how was your day?
More often than not, the simple joys in life either make our entire conversations, or fail to appear at all. Kuzu’s “A Dessert Diary” is a funny, light-hearted diary comic of a personal project, portraying the importance of her close-knit friends and the supportive environment she appreciates and derives encouragement from. And Sapphire’s “An Unexpected Visitor” shows the simple joy of letting be, especially after an action-packed round of getting through with life.
Self-Pity and Realisation
The line between self-pity and self-realisation are both fine and blurred. At the same time, it requires the balance of focussing on and appreciating a single tree in a forest, but not missing the forest for the trees – something gathered after reading Wrat’s “On Drawing”. Fenix’s “Of Sparrows” reflects a common issue faced by many creators – and talks about the importance of realising yourself, being comfortable with yourself, and the appreciation of peers in a similar setting. Lastly, Max’s “The Ballad of Self Pity” speaks of the almost unnoticeable difference between self-pity and realisation – the journey of crossing the darkest hour before the glimmer of a sunrise.
Individual vs. the World
Finally, individual significance and the want to be significant in the grand scheme of things are issues put down in a few of the stories as well. Reimena’s “Rat Race” acts as a mirror to humanity, personified as a character who is fighting to maintain her identity and authenticity in a world that does its best to drown it out. Choo’s “Nine Thirty A.M.” presents a similarly reflective piece through the eyes of an observer of happenings in a monotonous setting.
However, all hope is not lost in Hwei’s “Only Half Alone”, which shows that even the people who perceive themselves as the most solitary people in the world, are needed or wanted sincerely, somewhere.
Style & Structure
This collection of comics had a good mix of emotions and insights, the stories lined up similar to a full-course meal – starting with a short, but intriguing piece, then flowing into a few light-hearted tales before the full-bodied courses arrive, and ending with something simple, but substantial enough to tie up the entire mood. Almost representative of a full conversation, the anthology’s structure helped in easing the reader into the minds of the storyteller.
“How Was Your Day” is a collection of comics by eight different artists, you can find out more about them here:
To find out more about the collection itself, click here.
My adventures with in urban speculative fiction.