by Angela Cainen
Story & Art: Guillem March
Colour Assistant: Tony Lopez
Translation: Dan Christensen
You may recall Karmen #1 was discussed in one of our round-ups. And I was very confused by it. I am now slightly less confused after reading this issue (perhaps an argument that this was always designed to be read as a trade). Issue #2 gives us some wonderfully, wonderfully pretty art and a bit more exposition so we can understand Catalina more and what led her to the incident in the bathroom in the first place.
The real strength of this book is the art, which is so, so pretty. I don’t think you’ll find a prettier book at the moment. I mean it’s just gorgeous to look at and about half the book is literally just Cata flying around the town. I am sure people familiar with Majorca will recognise the landmarks (I’m not so I didn’t).
Probably half this issue is made up of whole pages of overviews, inserts of closeup details, and off-angles which show the freedom Cata has in her new state. You travel with her as she explores and experience the disorientation she has as well. It’s an immersive feeling art. And did I mention very, very pretty? Because it is.
This really does remain Cata’s book and even though Karmen has her name in the title she’s not in it much. Though we do see her perform more of her ‘job’ with an airline passenger having a heart attack and get panels showing Cata is not the only one flying around, hovering between life and death or maybe just death.
We finally get insight into the torture that led Cata to cut her wrists and there’s some very poignant panels where in her emotional turmoil the bandages loosen and a few drops of blood escape. It’s quite a haunting bit of art.
Cata loved her best friend Xisco but was in the friendzone. She then believed he was cheating on his girlfriend with Cata’s roommate. This leads to an emotional conversation Cata has with Karmen as the reality of her situation hits her and Karmen slowly teases out Cata’s deep seated issue of trust, love and friendship.
It still ends in quite a strange way on a bit of a cliff hanger as the last issue did, but that’s probably because of the nature of making issues out of a graphic novel.
Still you will get something out of Karmen #2, because it is a pretty book.