Or Else, vol. 2: Gloriana

Writer(s): Kevin Huizenga
Artist(s): Kevin Huizenga
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
ISBN: n/a
Price: $5.95
Page count: 100
Year Released: 2004
Status: out of print
Original Source: Supermonster #14
Other Collected Edition(s): n/a
Genres: all ages; historical fiction; magic realism; short stories; slice of life
Recommended for Fans Of:
Possible Objectionable Material: none
If You Like This Book, Try:
Also in This Series: Curses; Or Else, vol. 3; Or Else, vol. 4: The Wild Kingdom

Plot Summary
This digest-sized (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") book contains five short stories mostly starring Glenn Ganges and his wife, Wendy. In "The Groceries," Glenn and Wendy take turns daydreaming about the impending birth of their baby, and how their lives will change. In "The Sunset," Glenn recounts to someone on the phone how he was at the library earlier that day, and several events (the setting of the sun, a bird flying into the window, and the actions of other library patrons) converged into one moment. In "The Moon Rose" (which takes place immediately after "The Sunset"), Glenn explains to his neighbors how the blood-red moon they're watching in the evening sky is not a true lunar eclipse, but also not a sign of the apocalypse. Finally, "Basketball" tells the story of Illiana Christian High School and its basketball team from the point of view of a boy who used to play on the team.

My Own 2 Cents
Kevin Huizenga is a rare creator in that his work is simultaneously accessible to the average reader yet graphically sophisticated is his use of experimental storytelling techniques, as in "The Sunset" where he illustrates the confluence of events mentioned above in a series of increasingly abstract art panels. Similarly, in the "The Moon Rose," the middle of the story becomes an illustrated science lesson as Glenn explains eclipses and optical illusions to his neighbors. This is a great collection of stories.