Victory Point

Victory Point

I was going to write an essay titled “Where are the comics for me, an adult woman?” If you don’t like horror and you’ve already read all the superheroes you ever need and you’re not six years old (and reading comics where food-named animals learn lessons about friendship), what comics are aimed at you?

I no longer need to expand on that idea, because I’ve found a book that answers the question. Owen D. Pomery’s Victory Point is beautiful and thought-provoking in a quiet, relatable way. (Now the question is, where are the other comics like this one?)

Pomery previously created British Ice, which similarly feels like non-fiction, although it’s not; both books are steeped in verisimilitude. Victory Point is the name of a created seaside village, where Ellen grew up. She is temporarily returning there from her life in the city in order to check on her aging father.

Victory Point

The art feels very European in its thin lines and copious setting detail, but it’s not crowded or packed with small panels. Instead, there’s a substantial feeling of the place, of what this town, with its pluses and minuses, would feel like. There are preview images at the author’s website that show what I mean. Here’s a review by a Brit who can speak to the actual potential influences on the town architecture.

Victory Point, to me, is about the difference between what other people think about your life and town and what you experience, living it. Ellen keeps running into people who knew her when but also meets new folk. The encounters can be awkward, or they can be enlightening. The book also reminded me of how our environments shape us, and how we try to create new ways of living, but people are still people. And yet, there is a possibility for change.

In one of the biggest compliments I can pay, I got this book from the library, and even after reading it multiple times, I ordered my own copy. It reminds me of the value of everyday lives and special places and quiet reflection. I suspect I will find new things in it every time I read it.

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