Gumballs dispenses an array of bright, candy-colored short comics about Erin's gender transition, anecdotal tales of growing up as a triplet, and fictional stories of a socially inept love-struck teenager named Tobias. The wide-ranging series is filled with single-page gag cartoons, visual diaries of everyday life, funny faux personal ads, and real-life horror stories from customers at his day job. Gumballs offers a variety of flavors that will surely delight anyone with a taste for candid self-reflection and observations of humanity. This book collects Gumballs #1-4, plus 32 pages of brand-new content! Gumballs tips its hat to the classic alt-comic tradition of Eightball, Optic Nerve, and Box Office Poison, but speaks with a delightfully fresh voice for the modern age.
Nations' first book-length anthology, collecting Gumballs #1 #4 plus 30 pages of new material, is whimsical and timely, though uneven. Much of Nations' material is autobiographical, detailing his upbringing as the middle of three triplets, the tedium of work at a grocery store, and his journey through gender confirmation as a trans man. But the collection also contains several unrelated threads, such as vignettes from idiosyncratic or off-putting dating profiles, and the fictional saga of Tobias, a gay high school outcast. Blocky and bold, Nations' novel, expressive character designs and depictions of his own character shift subtly over the course of his transition. But some of the diary comics meander, and Tobias's struggle, while charming, feels out of place amid weightier personal comics. The collection is at its most resonant when Nations grapples with issues like his unwanted, troubling accumulation of male privilege, or the everyday perils of social anxiety and depression. While the far-ranging scope distracts from the central story line, Nations presents a much-needed perspective on modern American life with a nifty art style.