At a time of year when bethrothed couples from Albuquerque to Zurich are imploring you to “Save the Date!” for their summer nuptials, cartoonist and illustrator Adrian Tomine offers a peek into his own path to the altar in Scenes from an Impending Marriage (Drawn and Quarterly). The little blue book chronicles the adventures of Tomine and his bride-to-be, Sarah, as they navigate the wedding planning process, from guest list politics and venue selection to dance lessons and “an even-handed acknowlegement of both families’ cultural heritages” (taiko drummers versus bagpipe players, both of which are ultimately nixed by Tomine “in the name of cultural sensitivity and harmony”). A charming series of comic vignettes depicts the increasingly anxious couple meeting with one D.J. Buttercream (“please, just call me Bryan”) and sparring about wedding favors, until Sarah hits upon the idea of an illustrated book of short comics about the trials and tribulations of wedding preparations (how meta!). Our favorite scene takes place in the department store where the couple has chosen to register for wedding gifts. “It looks like everyone’s casually aiming a gun at wicker tissue box holders or whatever!” says Tomine’s cartoon doppelganger at the sight of affianced twosomes armed with bar-code scanners. “It’s emblematic of our whole culture: ‘I want lots of stuff and I want to shoot a gun!’”
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