Written by: Brian Wood, illustrated by Ryan Kelly
Year of Publication: 2008
Number of Pages: 376 pages
Genre: Graphic novel, coming of age, drama,
Summary: Megan McKeenan is a young woman who drifts from place to place across North America, searching for herself and for a place in the world. The book consists of twelve inter-connected stories each set in a different location in North America with Megan as the linking character. The stories are slice of life vignettes concerning themes of home, belonging, family, memory, friendship and loneliness.
Opinion: Local was originally published as a twelve part limited series comic book between 2005 and 2008. Originally it was intended to be a series of one off stories each taking place in a different North American location and each linked by the recurring character of Megan who would appear in each story, sometimes as the lead character and sometimes as a background character. As the series progressed though, it began to focus increasingly on Megan's story. The book is powerful and emotional, sometimes funny, often shocking and frequently heartbreaking. It's intelligently written, with Megan coming across as a genuinely believable and engaging character, even when she is not particularly likeable. As is only fitting, given the concept of the book, it has a very strong sense of place, with each location becoming almost another character in the story. The detailed artwork complements the stories perfectly. Even if you don't like comics, this is strongly recommended.
The locations featured in Local are:
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Brooklyn, New York
Wicker Park, Chicago