Lou by Melissa Mendes

Lou by Melissa Mendes
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 11th 2016 by Alternative Comic
Source: egalley via edelweiss

A seemingly simple look at childhood which presents a deeper story than one would first surmise. The art is basic and unpretentious hand drawings and the story seems to take place over one summer as the kids don't go to school. Lou and her brother are about 12 and 6 and spend every waking minute bickering, arguing and together. The also have a teenager brother who works at a pizza shop. The family is poor, can't afford a pet dog, but dad brings one home anyway. The book mostly examines the dynamics of the two bickering siblings; mum seems to be depressed, with it all we get a glimpse of the parents past, how mum dropped out of college, they met in a bar, she got pregnant, they got married, he works landscaping with his dad. To add excitement we also have a mysterious but also somehow sad story of the pizza store owner being beaten up by what appears to be mafia types, the owner disappears and the teenage son who has appeared to be a punk layabout so far steps up and starts running the shop. Everything comes to a head one night when the little boy runs away when being babysat by the teen while the parents are out celebrating their anniversary. An engaging story, rather bittersweet, but also optimistic. I would read more from the author.