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You Are Here

You Are Here

5.0 1
by Kyle Baker

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Baker returns to the genre scene with his first book-length narrative since Why I Hate Saturn (1990), the clever sendup of the downtown bar and dating scene of 1980s New York that became an underground comics classic. Here, Baker does New York City again, but this time strictly for laughs. Noel Coleman, a handsome, momentarily reformed criminal, falls big time for Helen, a beautiful redhead and sensitive New Age spiritualist and animal lover. An unlikely couple? Of course, so Coleman lies through his teeth about his spectacularly checkered past. Helen discovers his sleazy life story anyway, just as a media-lionized serial killer (a hilarious Robert Mitchum look-alike) goes after Coleman for seducing his wife. Besides the pleasures of Baker's wisecracking dialogue, there's a rousing chase through Central Park and a breathtaking fight to the finish with the would-be killer aboard the Staten Island Ferry, all rendered in a combination of virtuoso comics draftsmanship and richly saturated coloring. Never mind the thin veneer of pop sophistication attached to many graphic novels: this is an unpretentious, rip-roaringly entertaining comic book farce. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
The author of Why I Hate Saturn, best known for his long-running strip "Bad Publicity" in New York magazine, attempts an "urban romantic comedy"-but his disparate influences and preposterous plot suggest something altogether different. Visually, Baker brings together a noirish, hard-boiled look for his foregrounds (one bad guy looks just like Robert Mitchum in "Cape Fear"), with backgrounds that would make the animators at Disney proud-full of cute animals, pretty trees, and stunning sunsets. The two "looks" reflect the convergence of narrative lines: Noel, a former Manhattan jewel thief, has spent the past year living upstate in bliss with his trippy, sensual girl friend, an "aura cleanser" by trade, who knows nothing of his checkered past and who loves to commune with nature. When she follows Noel back to the city, she finds herself in the middle of a nasty revenge tale, resulting in the death of Noel's buddy Oscar, who bears a striking resemblance to the father in "Bad Publicity." Baker, no gritty realist himself, mocks the street cred of a nameless movie director (read: Tarrantino), but would better attend to his own implausibilities, though a clever epilogue almost redeems the sillier aspects of the narrative. Baker's computer-generated backgrounds-while cinematic in style-also result in much visual murkiness: his heroine has a mush of red hair and a smudge of lips. Warts and all, though, this full-color production deserves attention for DC's effort to entertain adults for a change. .

Product Details

DC Comics
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.40(d)

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You Are Here 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A full-color graphic novel published by Vertigo (an imprint of DC Comics directed at mature audiences) this is a gritty urban love story of the highest quality. We meet Noel Coleman, an ex-jewel thief from New York who falls in love with Helen, an eccentric animal lover and perpetually happy person from upstate. Noel decides to start his life anew with Helen, most easily expedited by completely lying about his past. Unfortunately, his past catches up with him when he returns to the city to sell his apartment, and discovers that a madman with an old grudge is out to kill him. What follows is Noel¿s hilarious, violent, and often touching struggle to escape his stalker, rescue his girlfriend, and cling to his new life. Baker excels in prose and pictures by combining smart, realistic dialogue with beautiful computer-rendered graphics and hand-drawn illustrations. Noel is a character the reader can identify with and be repulsed by, while completely sympathizing with his plight. And the not-so-happy yet convincingly real ending delivers better than many traditional novels. You Are Here may be the measuring stick for the future of the modern graphic novel. Masterful story pacing, page layout, silent panels, and text design combine to produce a book that can easily be appreciated by a mass audience, and persuade even the most conservative readers to give sequential art a chance.