Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006

La Perdida by Jessica Abel (Pantheon Books)

A vivid, character-driven story about an American innocent living in Mexico City, Jessica Abel's La Perdida taps into the zeitgeist of immigration and cultural cross-pollination, making it the best graphic novel of 2006. The book tells the story of Carla, a naïve young American woman on a search for her Mexican roots. After her travel visa runs out, she becomes a reverse illegal immigrant whose cultural assumptions clash with the reality of a fascinating cast of characters such as Memo, the socialist revolutionary that lives with his mother, and Oscar, the would-be DJ without a turntable. Abel's detail-filled black and white panels evoke a deep sense of place. La Perdida stands out as not just the best "American's abroad"-style graphic novel yet seen but as the best graphic novel of the year.