We all experience defining moments of self-realization in our lives. These epiphanies about our own lives happen when we reflect on who we are, or when someone points out something to us and they allow us to decide to change or stay that way. Becca Tobin addresses the idea of life-changing moments within her latest comic It’s Me. A character named Me is at a party, floating like a ghastly spirit, and watches as her physical form walks into the room. “Who is that? Is it me? It is me” she says, almost surprised to realize how different she seems from an outside perspective. How she sees herself doesn’t seem to reflect how the people around see her. “I’m really commanding the room” she says almost meekly, surprised she can even do that with such ease.
Tobin’s art looks very fluid and kinetic. Characters are in almost constant movement in each panel. The fluidity of her art make her characters look almost wavelike, as if the characters were themselves moving and being propelled by the current. There’s a malleability to her figures that makes for a very engaging read. It also reinforces the theme of the book, which is the malleability of the self, of one’s image. Her protagonist, Me, twists and contorts herself even as she comes to terms with who she really is and how different she is from what she had thought. Tobin’s art reflects this in a way through the graceful movements
of her characters. Once Me leaves the party, she has become a new person entirely, both mentally and physically.
It’s Me also collects two other stories, one of which is a one-pager called Party Platter, in which two sandwiches with legs and arms start attacking each other. It’s completely ludicrous, of course, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Andrea Tsurumi Why would you do that? in which cakes and pies are quite literally at war with each other.
The other story in the collection is about a woman following the progress of a peculiar star alignment and being affected by it. While much more vague than her main story, this is also a tale of change. Her protagonist is hypnotized by the stars and begins acting strangely. I didn’t expect to find such subtlety in so short a comic, but I was thoroughly impressed.
Philippe Leblanc is a Canadian comics journalist. In his regular life, he improves Canadian medical education, and is the co-host of the Ottawa Comic Book Club. He reads alternative, indie and art comics at night and write about them for the Comics Beat.