Summer Blonde: Stories

Writer(s): Adrian Tomine
Artist(s): Adrian Tomine
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
ISBN: 978-1896597577
Price: $16.95
Page count: 132
Year Released: 2003
Status: in print
Original Source: Optic Nerve 5-8
Other Collected Edition(s): hardcover edition (ISBN 978-1896597492)
Genres: literature; romance/relationships; short stories; slice of life
Recommended for Fans Of: Welcome to the Dollhouse
Possible Objectionable Material: nudity; coarse language; adult situations
If You Like This Book, Try: Caricature; Ghost World
Also in This Series: n/a

Plot Summary
Summer Blonde contains four stories. The first, "Alter Ego," is about Martin Courtney, a writer who enjoyed moderate success with his first novel three years ago. Since then he has ghostwritten another novel for a Hollywood heartthrob, but he's having trouble starting his own follow-up novel. Then he receives an anonymous fan letter from someone he suspects is a girl he was obsessed with in high school. The second, "Summer Blonde," is about the interconnections between Neil, an introverted, awkward guy in love with Vanessa, who is dating someone else and also sleeping with Carlo, a cocky, self-centered musician who just moved in next door to Neil. The third, "Hawaiian Getaway," follows Hillary Chan, another shy introvert who gets fired from her minimum wage job. Unable to meet anyone in life, she begins making prank phone calls to the payphone across the street from her apartment. And the last, "Bomb Scare," is about Scotty and his friend Alex, two outcasts in high school who begin to grow apart as Scotty begins to hang out with Cammie, a party girl who has recently been ostracized herself.

My Own 2 Cents
Summer Blonde is more of the same from Adrian Tomine, whose work excels at exploring the sad, alienated lives of lonely people. Some readers may begin to feel that Tomine's work is repetitive in its subject matter, and that they are reading the same story over and over again with different names ascribed to otherwise identical characters. But this misses the point, I think, which is that lonely people are everywhere. And I appreciate the fact that Tomine's protagonists, though sympathetic, are by no means blameless. They have their prejudices and hang-ups just like everyone else in this world.