... self-aware, funny, and ultimately a poignant account of the realities of Tomine's chosen profession ... darkly comic ... moments in his professional life, are relatable because of Tomine's willingness to be honest about his mistakes and shortcomings. But they also work because they're often suffused with humor ... the insularity and titular loneliness of the story has a greater resonance during this time of social distancing and isolation ... It's Tomine's gift to be able to convey so much in his black ink line drawings on white graph paper. He's always been able to transcend the everyday and the mundane into moments of connection and emotional resonance ... one of Tomine's best works, and that's saying something.
...the key to Tomine’s fiction is the rage and fragility beneath the pristine compositions ... Constructed in a loose, appealingly humble style on a Moleskine-like grid, the 26 vignettes here trace a lifetime of neuroses and humiliations ... Though Tomine’s fictional characters aren’t always recognizably Asian, when playing himself, he can’t escape the prejudices of those who see him as the Other.
... full of self-deprecating, self-aware humor ... Indeed, what Tomine has managed to do so well here is reveal something that few artists are able to discuss without sounding unaware or falsely humble: the incredibly hard, exhausting, and often can't-see-the-trees-for-the-forest kind of work involved in building a career in the arts, where there is too little funding, an overabundance of egos running rampant, and layers upon layers of gatekeeping. By using humor and framing his trajectory via professional and personal setbacks and moments of mortification, the cumulative effect of Loneliness is mesmerizing, funny, and deeply honest. Tomine refuses to dwell in the lie that much artistic success publicly perpetuates (whether or not by choice) that it's always fun, or that it even feels like what many of us imagine success to be. It's work — work that Tomine is conscious of being lucky enough to be able to keep doing, and there have been perks here and there for sure, but work nonetheless. No one made it easy for Tomine to get to where he is — least of all himself.