I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got one new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Buffy Season Eight – 25
  • Spider-Man – “Death and Dating”
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • “Hotel Harbor View” by Natsuo Sekikawa and Jiroh Taniguchi
  • Here is something I decided to pull down off of my shelf and read. “Hotel Harbor View” was originally published in 1990 by Viz. I remember liking it then but haven’t picked it up since. It’s a Japanese graphic novel from before the time when every Japanese comic was a toy or card game tie-in.

    “Hotel Harbor View” is a melancholy book about life and death as told through the tales of a couple of people who are doomed to die as someone has been hired to kill them. Though the story involves a hit woman it’s not really about killing or the mechanics of killing that we often see in fiction. It’s going for a film noir vibe and there is sex and violence but it’s not a typical hitman story.

    It’s the storytelling that is the star here. The script is sparse but effective and relies on the visuals to tell most of the tale. From setting the mood to slowing down time the artist, Jiroh Taniguchi, uses a variety of angles, panel shapes, close ups, medium shots, and establishing shots to really clarify what is going on in an interesting way.

    I’m glad I hung on to this obscure graphic novel. There really isn’t a lot of comics like it out there. There is really not a lot to say about it besides that it is good. It’s a comic that doesn’t aspire to grandness but is about a feeling. A sadness with the world. But “Hotel Harbor View” isn’t a downer. It doesn’t leave you thinking that the world is a really screwed up place. It leaves you thinking that those people are a little sad and that’s just the way of things. Give it a read if you can find it.