(AiT/Planet Lar, 2005)
™ and © AiT/Planet Lar, ™ and ©2005 Rob Osborne
Generally speaking, old people and their issues make for uncommon subject matter in comics. Rob Osborne (1000 Steps to World Domination) takes an admirable shot at it with this cohesive and satisfying tale of senior malaise and suburban distemper. Originally conceived as a sort of Sin City for the senior set, Osborne borrows a contrivance or two from Frank Miller’s playbook but takes a less fanciful course and obtains a somewhat different overall result.
Sunset City, “for active senior living”, hinges on the story of widower Frank McDonald whose unresolved grief and emotional isolation render him vulnerable to startling crimes of passion. Not all gloom and doom, Osborne leavens the proceedings with funny slices of senior life, and adds dimension to the book’s narrative perspective by interspersing the story with several whole pages taken from Sunset Citizen, Sunset City’s local rag that McDonald reads every day. The stories in the newspaper provide important context for the book’s noirish climax.
Osborne’s deft characterizations and attention to detail inspire re-readings of this 72-page, black and white graphic novel.
— Leland Burrill
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