Friday, June 06, 2008

La Perdida

Jessica Abel

I was really impressed by Jessica Abel's recent writing gig on Life Sucks for First Second Books, so I decided to give the creator's much-lauded original graphic novel a go. La Perdida follows a young woman, Carla, who travels to Mexico to "find herself." She's half Mexican and is looking to make a connection with that side of herself. She goes into Mexico, citing her love for Frida and taking a look at the touristy side of things, but soon gets in deep with some of the locals, including a new boyfriend in Oscar, who dreams of being a deejay. The longer she stays, the more she gets pulled in by the ideas offered to her, and the further she finds herself from her former friends. Before long, she's in a world she barely recognizes and becomes entrenched in things that she never expected. La Perdida is really a wonderful story of self-discovery that sees a very human main character making mistakes, learning and ultimately, fumbling her way through a foreign society that perhaps she was never meant to be a part of. This novel is rich in politics and characterization with some really fantastic dialogue, the sort that first got me excited for Abel in Life Sucks. Abel's art is really nice, sometimes flushed out more than other times, but appropriate for what she'd depicting, and often quite beautiful, such as the scene featured on the cover of the book. La Perdida feels very memoir-ish, and as such, really sucked me in alongside Carla and made her feel like a real person for me. It's really good stuff, the last third making for some really exciting scenes. Highly recommended.

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