Table for One
by Bosch Fawstin
(Main Spring, 2004)


Table for One is a graphic novel about one evening in the life of the owner, staff and customers of a restaurant. No super-heroes, no super-villains, no spandex, no latex. Hurray!!!


Will is the egotistic, handsome nephew of the restaurant's grossly overweight owner (who looks much like the villain The Kingpin from Daredevil comics) and the protagonist of the evening. You will almost like him.

You will almost hate every other character. In fact, if this graphic novel is meant to be a microcosm of life (and I believe it is), life stinks. Why?

Every character, including Will, is selfish, dishonest, miserable and profane. Theirs is an unrelentingly dark, nasty, physically and spiritually violent, dog-eat-dog world. But there is some good in the real world, and this story needs some good.

Dialogue in Fawstin's world comes close to ringing true, but almost every page is laced with profanity and too many characters are too consciously clever in their conversations. There is some pun in the real world, but this story needs less *%!@%# and less pun.

The artist's minimalistic art is almost excellent and reminiscent of master artist Alex Toth's style. Minimalism means no visual detail is included unless necessary to the story. Almost excellent means that some characters are barely doodles.

In addition, Fawstin's staging bears little resemblance to reality because he overworks clever angles and visual gimmicks meant to make mundane scenes visually interesting. As example, in one panel Will's angry expression is seen through a rectangle literally cut out of his uncle whose back is to the reader. Too much obvious staging destroys a reader's suspension of disbelief.

Almost every comment on every aspect of Table for One seems slightly negative. Does that mean that this graphic novel is not worth reading? No.

Table for One is almost recommended.

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 19 March 2005

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