Day and Age Year Two by Andrew Oh
Autobiography and indie comics go together. Andrew Oh’s Day and Age Year Two is no exception. In this book Andrew tells the story of his move to Los Angeles. Will he make friends? How will he get by?
Well, his first experience is one which makes for tough reading…if you are male. In fact I have to confess to the comic book reading equivalent of watching Dr. Who from behind the sofa. His story of a mysterious pain which develops in his testicles and the subsequent experience of the U.S healthcare system is quite a read.
The portrayal of a health issue in such a frank and honest way in the chapter entitled ‘Trouble Down South’ is very bold. Life, unlike fiction, does not always have a satisfying narrative with character progression and a neat ending. And there is no neat ending for Andrew’s story either, the whole thing is just “ball pain”.
We also have a funny but slightly terrifying tale of online dating colliding with mental health and conspiracy theories. Drugs and alcohol aren’t missed out either. Again there are some very relatable moments as Andrew recalls the kind of not-so-cool experiences of a partying novice.
The book was shared as a daily strip online via Instagram. This enables a nice bit of interaction with the readers who were invited to send in questions. Questions like “can we get an update on your balls?” Andrew is happy to enlighten us.
Visually the book has a simple line art style but with well executed details and a good sense of perspective. It brought to mind Julie Doucet’s 365 Days – with her candid portrayal of her everyday life in a relatively simple style. As Andrew notes in the book “anyone can make comics” and his art style improves along the way.