Our Expanding Universe (Top Shelf) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, December 4th, 2022  

Our Expanding Universe

Top Shelf

Dec 02, 2015 Issue #55 - November/December 2015 - EL VY Bookmark and Share

Another phone book from Alex Robinson, though slightly smaller than his ‘90s-era magnum opus Box Office Poison. In Our Expanding Universe, Robinson focuses on characters-mostly couples-closer to their 40s, and the challenges life brings at that stage. Parents in ill health, the desire (or lack thereof) to have children, the urge to cheat on a spouse, dealing with in-laws, the changing relationships with old friends who haven’t made those same life choices that you have.

The cartooning is tight; fans of Robinson, or really any indie aesthetic, will not be disappointed. The criticisms are two-fold: first, the framing mechanism of a gent talking about the cosmos seems a touch forced, though it pays off later. Second, some of the interactions at the beginning of the book seem stilted, though the interactions and flow pick up to feel natural as the book progresses. However, these are niggling critiques: this book is really very lovely and worth your time. Robinson’s ability to examine the awkward, to comment on societal trends, and to grab you by the heart and pull wet stuff from your tear ducts are all fully on display here. The characters and situations are fleshed out and the emotion, whether smiles or tears, is well earned.

Top notch from Top Shelf. More please. (www.topshelfcomix.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Lehocz Lidia
October 14th 2018

If you’re an Alex Robinson fan, and you should be, this is the next logical iteration of his work, as he explores what it means to be an adult in our world, and the relationships that entails. No matter where you stand on the idea of expanding universe theory, being a parent, or marriage, this relatable and realistic group of characters will give you every point of vie on the subject. Robinson has a unique ear for personalities and viewpoints, and that doesn’t even cover the fact that he’s a fantastic cartoonist. If there’s anyone in the industry who can draw real people living real life, while also being funny, it’s Alex Robinson. This book fits nicely on the shelf next to his other works, and if you’re a fan, you need to get this newest installment in his body of work.