Thursday, September 06, 2007
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon is a textless graphic novel. (Okay, textless save for the names of months on certain pages, and some text on boxes and calendars and the like.)
Dog gets a robot kit and puts together not just a robot, but a dear friend. They do everything together and have fun. And then, at the end of the summer, they go to the beach and splash in the waves, then lay on their towels. And poor Robot can't get up, so Dog goes home without him.
Dog remembers Robot and goes back to get him, but the beach is closed. From here on out, we follow two different tales -- three, in a way. There's Dog, at home, looking for other friends, but even though he meets others to have fun with, none of them stay the way Robot did. There's Robot -- his body and what happens to it (including some selfish rabbits who steal one of his legs, and someone collecting scrap metal) -- and Robot's dreams. In his dreams, Robot searches and finds Dog in a variety of settings. Sometimes Dog is happy to see him, other times Dog has moved on. Always, Robot has both of his legs in his dreams. And there's a raccoon who's building a radio, but it only gives out distortion, until he goes to the scrapyard for parts.
This is a charming story, about friendship and loss, about memory and moving on. It demonstrates how some people (or Robots) are always constant, loyal friends, and how friends can adapt and move on if a friend dies or moves away. It speaks to the universality of the need and longing for friendship.
You can "read" an excerpt at the First Second website. But by all means, look for this at your local bookstore and read the whole thing.