I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
So great. First of all, this is the writer and artist team:
One licks. One is licked. And looks pretty freaked out by the possibility of being licked. I saw this picture and laughed. I'm pretty sure it was the same one they used in volume one, but I could be wrong.
I knew I would like this, because Gillen is pretty ruthless about cutting to the heart of a painful situation, then throwing in a one-liner that makes you laugh out loud. McKelvie's art is spectacular: pure simplicity that becomes more because of how expressive it is.
This volume takes place on one night after the first volume. Most of the characters played fairly large parts in the first volume, but this is seven chapters, each focusing on a character - or in one case, two characters. It does take place on the same night, mostly in the same club, but some stories start earlier in the night, and end earlier, and some start later and end later, and some span almost the whole night. It's a slice of life that gives you a bigger picture of how that whole night played out. It's small if taken chapter by chapter, but like the art itself, is so much more when it's all put together.
Simple on one look, complex when you take a closer look. It's elegant, it's brilliant, and it's genuinely funny and heartbreaking and warm. It's all about the human condition told through music-magic.
I don't know if I can suggest this enough. I figured I might not like this as much as the first volume. Sophomore slump. And really, was anything going to get better than volume one?
Yes, yes this was.