Koyama Press is one of the most reliable names in comics for innovative works from cartoonists with their own distinct styles, and they’ve had an exceptional 10th anniversary year. (Read about Koyama’s Spring 2017 offerings in this Big Issues piece.) This fall brings six new Koyama titles, each showcasing a bold artistic voice with a unique perspective of the world and the comics medium. GG’s I’m Not Here is an atmospheric, intimate graphic novel that takes a turn for the surreal as it follows an unnamed young woman at a personal crossroads. Tied to her home by her ailing mother, the lead character yearns for independence, and becomes fixated on her doppelganger she sees on the street, seemingly living the life she wants so much.
This exclusive preview of I’m Not Here has the central character discovering her doppelganger for the first time, but before that moment, these pages spotlight GG’s ability to create a specific rhythm and put the reader in the character’s headspace. Comics and film have become increasingly intertwined over the years, and the Canadian cartoonist’s work combines cinematic visual elements with stylized, simplified comic-book rendering. GG often composes their panels so that they look like shots from a camera, and in the case of I’m Not Here, this becomes even more explicit as the main character photographs her environment. Eschewing word balloons in favor of subtitles for the dialogue is another cinematic choice, and putting the text below the panels put more emphasis on the presentation of those images. I’m Not Here debuts with the rest of Koyama’s fall books at Small Press Expo this weekend, but it’s currently available through online retailers and select bookstores for anyone who wants to see more of GG’s melding of comics and cinema.