In the second of Lewis Trondheim’s Little Nothings journal comics series, the French cartoonist’s colorful and detailed sketches fall under the subheading of “The Prisoner Syndrome,” which he discovers during a visit to Nantes, France, is “when someone is locked up and isn’t doing anything. By not doing anything, he gets more and more tired and has less and less desire to do anything.” Trondheim makes sure he doesn’t get Prisoner’s Syndrome by ‘doing more and more festivals all over the place.” The results are presentations of the day-to-day activities which leave you smiling and nodding your head in recognition of the absurd and paranoid thoughts that enter your mind during seemingly mundane activities.
Representing himself as a man with a bird-like head, Trondheim’s one to two-page vignettes from life include insights into his mind as he unravels daily mysteries and humorous musings with himself. In one vignette, we find him snorkeling in Greece and watching in increasing amazement at the sights below him, wondering if a structure below him could be the base of a column of a Greek City. After closer inspection, he realizes it is an old tire.
Other vignettes have Trondheim’s character contemplating the hotel notepad by his bed, wondering how to discover what message a previous guest might have written on the notepad; or praising the invention of light timers in the bathroom that are activated by motion sensors; the disappointment of chasing a ‘firefly’ only to discover it is old Christmas tinsel, ‘important conversations’ regarding the production of saliva in cows and paranoid delusions about mosquito bites.
Though many of his sketches involve travel to various countries including Greece, France, Fiji and Brussels, where he muses on international themes and situations, he is seen at home being a husband and a father in equally entertaining vignettes. Easy and humorous read for teenagers and adults alike that will make you pay attention to the humor of ‘nothings’ in your everyday life. Recommended.