Graphic Novel Review: Keeping Two by Jordan Crane

Keeping Two by Jordan Crane. Fantagraphics, 2022. 9781683965183. 316pp.

When you first open the book, the most striking thing is the color — it’s so green! But after it has led you through what is, at its heart, a wonderful love story filled with the possibility of loss, the most stunning thing is the way Crane plays with time and perception, the way he shows you what’s happening in the characters’ minds vs in the real world and how they interact. Crane does it all using panel boarders (and their absence) in a consistent six panel layout. This book requires your full attention and rewards it with an amazing, emotional experience.

A couple arrives home, greets their cat, and gets word of two deaths. They discuss the idea that deaths always come in groups of three. Then the woman runs to the store for food and a movie, leaving the guy to wash the dishes. He’s distracted by a sad book about a couple dealing with the loss of their baby (the woman becomes suicidal, the man doesn’t seem to notice), and the narrative makes the guy think about his own relationship. And slowly the idea that his love might not make it home creeps into his thoughts until he can think of little else.


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