Writer: Emma Vieceli and Malin Ryden
Artist: Emma Vieceli
Published at: breakscomic.com
A review by Christoph Staffl
When you grow up, you don’t think about the people you meet or the friends you make. It is enough to play together and just have some fun. These friendships sometimes can last a lifetime. Sometimes they only last for a couple of years. Maybe you have different interests and life goals, or you just grow apart. That just how it is. But there is also a more challenging possibility when someone slowly changes in a way, you are not sure you are able or even willing to follow. Do you keep the friendship? Is it just comfortable? It is hard to make such a decision if you know someone as long as you can remember – or at least you thought you knew them. Things are starting to escalate. People get hurt. People you are beginning to like. What do you do?
Breaks is the story of Ian Tanner and Cortland Hunt. They are in High School and will soon be 18 years old. This is especially important for Cortland, because he made some mistakes in his past, which lead to his bigger brother being his guardian. They are living together in an apartment, but their relationship is not in a good place. Cortland is the quiet type. It is hard for him to talk about his feelings. But he is self-conscience, knows his talents and what to do with them. He transitioned three years ago to this new High School and had developed a special relationship with Ian. They make fun of each other, tease, and if you are not the type for it, you could think they don’t really like each other.
Ian Tanner is the funny guy in his group. He has a girlfriend, but the relationship is not developing but caught on a plateau. It seems like that they are together (from Ian’s point of view) because it is convenient. Ian is loyal to his friends and always sees something good in people. This is the reason he stayed friends with Spence for so long. They are those friend who know each other for their whole lives. But Spence begins to make some bad decisions. Maybe this is going on for a while, and Ian didn’t want to see it. Jealousy and violence get out of hand, and now it is up to Ian to decide which friendships are worth to keep.
Breaks is a brilliantly written and drawn comic book. The drawings are detailed, and the characters facial expressions, as well as their body language, reflect their personalities. The brownish monochromatic style with its different hues support this, but at the same time lets some room for interpretation. You have to see the colors with your own mind; the artist just provides the characters and surroundings. The writing is especially good because every character seems to have his or her own way to talk. Be it Ian, Cortland or one of the many side-characters; you get the feeling that there is more to them, then just the things you see. This underlines the real-life impression.
Read it! Breaks shows you what it means to have meaningful relationships and friendships. They are not toxic to your goals and dreams, but support them, no matter what. It also gives you the impression, that every one of the characters comes with a past and whatever that might be, they deserve a second chance. Breaks is a slice of live comic tour de force with engaging characters, and I eagerly await every new page.