Portland Mercury Interview with Adrian

“Portland Mercury Interview with Adrian” / The Portland Mercury / Julianne Shepherd / July 31, 2002

Since age 16, Adrian Tomine has been drawing and writing his Optic Nerve comics. His work is very smart, sweet, and sometimes autobiographical, about the mostly unfunny foibles of human beings, but connected by the same underlying theme: that of doomed hope--the knowledge of the unpredictability of the world, and the simultaneous desire to believe that we're not all just totally fucked.

Of course, this isn't played out literally; Tomine is too subtle for that. Instead, his characters live it out, usually through relationships made messy by insecurities, selfishness, and disorientation. They're familiar characters, if you're of a certain age and mindset, and there's a resignation and humanity to Tomine's stories--accompanying his characters' endearing life fumbles are their very real manifestations, drawn in his clean, simple (but not simplistic) style. Tomine has the matter-of-factness of a Hemingway, turned post-Cold War jaded and exposed to cooler music.
 

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