Saturday, March 28, 2020

Comics for Strange Times: I Saw You (on CraigList, obviously)

A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon the `Missed Connection` section of New York City CraigList and I kept returning regularly for a couple of months. What an unique source of inspiration about our world of relationships, hopes and expectations - as well as creepiness - it is! The dream of seeing someone who is the one and only person only for a couple of seconds! The hope that he or she will see the announcement, but also the fear that one might be in fact stalked by a crazy one obsessivelly believing that they are meant for each other.
At certain extents, it reminded me of two of my high-school girlfriends who spotted some random dude on their way home and obsessed about him for weeks and weeks in a row. God forbid to see him again...Funnily, they never made anything else than eye contact.
CraigList announcements were therefore offering unique insights into the dating, communications and relationship psyche in the new millenium. Do you feel the desperate call of a line like this: ´I kept looking for you but I couldn´t find you anywhere´?
When I´ve seen there is a full comics inspired and dedicated by those some notes, it couldn´t wait to have it. I Saw You is a collection of graphic notes edited by cartoonist Julia Wertz who is also a contributor about people searching for people. In a less tragical note, similarly with the notes dropped in the newspapers after the end of WWII when people were looking for survivor relatives, friends or spouses.
As a collective work, not all the notes are equal from the point of view of the topics and style. Some notes are funny, some are hilarious, some are creepy, and some are borderline stalking behavior. Some drawings are really good, some not so impressive. But this diversity is the diversity of the ads as well and the diversity of the people that hope that CraigList might help them get in touch with a person they assume might be special for them.
I personally find very interesting the topic of the collection, a mundane yet inspiring topic to explore for the genre of comics. Now, I´m curious if there are other literary and non-literary works dedicated to such issues. What about real time stories, about people that actually met and fell in love like is no tomorrow by answering an anonymous call on CraigList? Or maybe a thriller about an unhappy situation...Should I check CraigList again? What does the ´social distancing´ issue to the already tangled web of curious and strange 21st style relationships?

Rating: 3 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment