Days of the Bagnold Summer—soon to be a feature film!
Collecting the first two graphic novels from “one of the most talented graphic novelists in the UK” (Zadie Smith), Other People brings Joff Winterhart and his penchant for endearing, peculiar couples to the US for the first time.
Evocatively wrought and gorgeously illustrated, Other People collects Days of the Bagnold Summer and Driving Short Distances, first published in the UK to wide acclaim. In Bagnold Summer—which The Observer proclaimed “graphic novel of the year,” and which received a Costa Award nomination for best novel—a teenager spends a long summer with his mother, much to his disappointment. Capturing the dynamics of family and growing up, Winterhart captures the ennui, pathos, and affection of the mother-son relationship.
In Driving Short Distances—which Zadie Smith declared “created an unforgettable central player, Keith Nutt, who deserves to join Keith Talent in the short but potent list of great British literary Keiths; he is an unforgettable character, beautifully drawn and exquisitely written”—Sam needs a job and purpose, so begins a apprenticeship of sorts in the passenger side of Keith’s car. As Sam learns something about the self-styled big-man Keith, and the humility of everyday living, Winterhat’s pen turns ordinary life into a tableau poignant and comedic.
In his wry depiction of two awkward young men's long, lonely summers, Winterhart captures the claustrophobia of being a moody, misfit boy in a monotonous town. This meditative volume collects two short graphic novels originally published in the U.K. In "Days of the Bagnold Summer," slumping, long-haired teen Daniel mopes around reading horror novels and longing to join a garage metal band, all while shrouded in a dark hoodie that makes him resemble "a big, black, sad kangaroo," according to his mother, Sue. Any sign of life is a welcome surprise to single-mom Sue, who watches her son transform under her equally lonesome gaze. "You seem in a good mood!" she chirps, after Daniel engages in the rare act of coming out to dinner for her birthday "No I don't," he replies. In "Driving Short Distances," depressed dreamer Sam takes a job navigating in circles around his hometown with Keith, a friendless and humorless older delivery man. Winterhart's blue and brown brush strokes depict the richness of mundane minutiae: the carpet-like quality of Keith's nosehair, the tender wrinkles around Sam's mother's eyes. Neither Sam nor Daniel plunge fearlessly into life, but as days stretch into weeks, they slowly take baby-bird steps toward their dormant ambitions. Throughout, Winterhart manages to illustrate the banal without ever becoming boring.