Minor Life Crisis
Comic zine, Eustace Ng & Yong Ling Kang, 54 pgs, [email protected]
The story of Minor Life Crisis is straight- forward enough: a young bird, after suffering a near-death experience on its first flight, must try to decide if it has the courage to return to the world of the sky, or otherwise stay in the perceived safety of earthbound life. Initially, maintaining that “the world is much grander when you’re on the ground,” the bird finds delight in sniffing flowers from below, climbing trees instead of flying up them, and napping in a nest made from a discarded ramen cup. Soon enough, however, the bird begins to discover that ground life holds its dangers as well.
The art and story in Eustace Ng’s and Yong Ling Kang’s book is charming and full of character — the bird is expressive and optimistic, and the reader really feels for them as they try to remain cheerful in the face of their challenges. It’s easy to identify with this little bird, who tries to look on the sunny side as their ramen cup becomes first a “personal bath tub” and then a “private pool.” In the rain, the bird huddles under a dumpster to sleep while sadly claiming, “this is fine” (at least the world’s not burning). Our feathered friend meets obstacle after obstacle to their hopes of finding a safe place to live. These relentless dangers are heartbreaking and rendered with convincing menace, but the bird maintains its determination throughout, which means that by the time it is forced to face all fears and dare to fly again, it’s uplifting to see those wings spread and learn to navigate the dangers of the sky with confidence and grace. (Pip Bradford)