Y and Y
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Y & Y is a visually powerful graphic novel. In this post-apocalyptic narrative, we follow two children who find themselves alone in their city, now deserted after it was destroyed by a war that is not clearly identified in the novel. They decide to explore the city. They roam the ruins, visiting, or re-visiting places that many children, and adults, take for granted as part of their daily city life. A toy store, a grocery store, an amusement park, a library, a school, a flower shop, a train station, a theater, a museum, a beach. They meet no people during their journey. They find and rescue a dog who becomes their sole companion.
Their wandering brings new insights into their lives. They develop a new perspective when they see familiar places in ruins and deserted, all theirs with no one else but also semi-destroyed. The debris are eye-openers for them. They mature beyond their years. The eventually reach a point where they must decide their next step.
The graphic novel is a study of urban spaces in war. It offers a visual condemnation of war. With no dialogue, the novel is visually focused on human and urban landscapes, as the two children see their innocence in conflict with the ruthless reality of the adult world. Illustrated in watercolor, black ink and shaded in pencil, Y and Y of fers a dazzling variety of drawning styles.
The writer/artist teaches at Macalester College and lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.