What I’ve Been Reading: You Don’t Say, by Nate Powell

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you don't say by nate powellA career-spanning collection of short comics by Nate Powell, an artist whose work I’ve been enjoying since his early-2000s self-published anthology Walkie Talkie. It’s been terrific to see Powell develop as an artist over the ensuing decade and a half; this book lets us trace a good chunk of that development by drawing stories from his well-known works, as well as some rarities.

What Powell is doing in a lot of these stories is very much autobiographical comics, or thinly veiled autobio in some cases, but the stories don’t bear any of the sad-sack, man-child hallmarks that mark some of the most tedious such comics. Powell’s voice is too self aware, too introspective and critical to allow that.

You may know Powell now from his work on the March series, telling a story of the Civil Rights Movement. Powell’s involvement with justice has always been an appealingly powerful aspect of his work. One great revelation here is a tense, creepy horror story I hadn’t seen before. I believe there’s more horror coming from him. I can’t wait.

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