A brokenhearted woman drifts into depression as she occupies her traveling neighbor's apartment in this graphic novel where base human desires and functions alternate with dreamlike symbolism to create a tension-filled tale of the nightmare that is modern life.
Shit is Real follows a young woman’s response to a breakup and mixes lonely lunches, wild parties and hallucinations. After losing her job and being dumped by her boyfriend, Selma is putting up a picture in her new flat when the drill slips, opening a yawning crack into her neighbour’s vacant apartment. It starts slowly – a glass of water here, a washing-machine load there – but before long Selma has moved in ... For all its darkness, there’s real energy and ingenuity: this is a wise and funny journey through loneliness and confusion.
I picked up a mini-comic extract of Shit is Real...a couple of years ago, so it’s fitting that I’m now looking at the complete work as its creator, Aisha Franz, returns to the festival as a featured guest. And along the way, the book has become a confident and compelling graphic novel about the pressures of urban life and the (not always helpful) ways the mind deals with them ... a graphic novel that...has depth and empathy, and it uses the infinite stylistic possibilities of the comics form to take us where words alone can’t go.
Loneliness is a prison, a fog, and a wasteland in this dreamlike exploration of depression and solitude. In the aftermath of a sudden breakup, Selma finds herself alienated by everything from a laundromat’s membership plan to her most intimate friends. Next door, however, lies a tantalizing oasis: a posh apartment left empty by a traveling neighbor. Selma sneaks in, and as days go by, she slips more and more deeply into a hallucinatory whirlwind of borrowed clothes, dreams of talking fish, and a growing fixation with the owner of a faltering pet store nearby and his romantic entanglements ... Selma’s journey is an affecting one. Her trek to self-actualization is twisting and forlorn—but a road worth traveling.