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(Words and art by Debbie Dreschler Published by Drawn & Quarterly)

I first read Nowhere whilst browsing through the comics racks one lunchtime, but I obviously wasn't that impressed, because I decided not to buy it. However, on a whim I recently picked up a copy and either my tastes have changed or this comic has improved.

Nowhere is a familiar tale of neurotic outsiders in a high school environment. Although nothing particular happens in this issue, besides a high school dance, there is plenty of dialogue to bring home the memories of sibling rivalry, gossip, fashion worries and boy trouble. Anyone who's ever been to high school will recognise the scenes that Dreschler is portraying here. Whether you cringe or smile at the memories will depend on how popular you were.

Dreschler has written a mature comic here, with her introspective writing style matched by her mature painting style. Teenagers are represented in all their gangly, lumpy, puppy-fatted glory, without exaggeration or insincerity. The kids pictured here seem far more real than the ones we always see in teenage soap operas today, which should give you some idea of how good this one is.

http://painkeep.hbesoftware.com/quarterly/debbie.htm - Info about Dreschler's work from the official Drawn & Quarterly site. [Load time rating: ***** fast]

Anna Jellinek

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