Literary Highlights 2019 / Rusty Brown
Four people spend time in the same school in rural Nebraska in the 1970s. They are: Rusty Brown, an awkward eight-year old obsessed with superheroes; Woody, his father, a lonely, embittered teacher who once aspired to be a science-fiction writer; Jordan Lint, the school bully who fails to have single meaningful relationship in his life, and Joanna Cole, an Afro-American teacher who experiences racial discrimination and harbors a traumatic secret.
With his rigorously geometric albeit playful style, coupled with a sustained interest in getting to deep into people’s psyche, Chris Ware presents four intimate, moving yet never soppy character studies revolving around loneliness and isolation. The highlight is Jordan Lint’s story: eighty pages, each page corresponding to one year in Lint’s life and drawn in a style mirroring his psychological development. Stream-of-consciousness graphic narrative has never been this appealing. „Rusty Brown“ is a cerebral and emotional tour-de-force.