Graphic novel review: Jamilti and Other Stories
“Jamilti and Other Stories” collects seven short stories by Rutu Modan, the writer-artist of “Exit Wounds,” one of the best graphic novels of 2007. Six of the seven works in “Jamilti” predate “Exit Wounds,” but Motan shows here, again, why she’s one of the premiere voices of Israeli comics.
The strongest is “Bygone,” the one black-and-white story in the collection, in which the family ties among three sisters in a themed hotel in Israel are explored. The middle sister discovers her family’s deep secret after falling for a hotel guest. But all seven are very good in varying degrees, with stories focusing on a plastic surgeon that keeps remaking his lost love, to a divorced mother who believes she can heal with electricity flowing through her hands. The lead story, “Jamilti,” is a story of wedding dresses and suicide bombers.
Modan has an art style reminiscent of Herge, though parts of “Jamilti” are intentionally cruder.
Alternately funny, sad, and strange, this collection of works by Modan is absolutely worth a look to see one of comics’ most original voices.
- Matthew Price
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