Graphic Novel Review: The Li’l Depressed Boy Vol 1 – She is Staggering by S. Steven Struble and Sina Grace
Li’l depressed boy (LDB) lives a lonely life reading books and playing computer games. He decides to stop feeling sorry for himself and get out of the house, that’s when he meets “Weird Girl”. She takes him out in to the world and his life begins to change.
The set up may feel a little familiar, blending elements of lots of other stories but the execution is completely unique. It’s sweet, funny and sometimes silly but any time it threatens to get too much we are given a moment of real heartfelt honesty. These moments are dealt with very subtly which only makes them more effective. In fact the writing as a whole is very subtle. S. Steven Struble uses very little dialogue instead letting the artwork speak for itself and leaving plenty of room for each moment to resonate with the reader.
Sina Grace’s artwork is very well designed, falling halfway between cartoony and realistic. He draws clothing particularly well. Each outfit is well thought out and really looks like something that people wear. The most interesting artistic choice made here is to portray LDB as a rag doll with fabric skin. This really sets him apart from the rest of the world and establishes him as an outsider. Also his simple but expressive facial features really heighten the emotion of every scene.
I really enjoyed The Li’l Depressed Boy, it’s one of the most unique and purely enjoyable comics that I’ve read for a while.