It’s no secret that I love love. I’m a big fan. I melt when hearing other people’s love stories and cry easily whether at weddings, romantic books, movies, and television, or even artfully done credit card commercials. So, it is no wonder that Soppy by Philippa Rice was everything I’ve ever wanted out of a graphic novel love story.
Soppy is the visual representation of Rice’s relationship with her real-life boyfriend Luke. It details how they met (at what appears to be a comics convention). It shows the initial messages and the first dates. Most beautifully, it completely visualizes the ways in which one life becomes slowly but thoroughly intertwined with another.
It is a very subtle book told predominately through pictures rather than words. My favorite part is how it highlights all the quiet moments that are at the heart of any close, long-term relationship. Sure, there are big milestones, but there’s also making dinner and cups of tea. There’s integrating all of your stuff when you move in together (and all the things you learn about the other!). There’s the quiet time spent reading in the same room or watching movies, cuddling and sleeping, and just feeling satisfied with their presence whether you’re speaking or no. There’s all the ways you fit together like a puzzle (and some of the ways you don’t). There’s taking trips and running errands, making plans and planning surprises. It shows having fights and making up, the frustrations and tears. It details the sweet moments and the grumpy ones that lead to yet more sweetness. It’s an excellent representation of how certain aspects of a relationship become second nature: a wordless understanding. It embodies the serene simplicity that can come from that kind of closeness. It is one of the most heartwarming books I’ve ever read. At 106 pages and mostly without text, it is a quick read, but it is an endearing and emotional one. Rice is a very talented artist and her illustrations are full of detail and vibrancy worth poring over. I am quite enamored of her chosen color palette. It’s clear this book was a labor of love.
As a person in a committed relationship, I could identify with many of the sketches (both good and bad). I saw a lot of my own relationship mirrored in theirs, which is both strange and reassuring. If you are not in the mood for love, I could see this book being a bit unpalatable. It is all in the title. This is a sappy, soppy love story. But it is very cute and I very much recommend it.
In other news, spring has arrived! It’s been so nice out. Hooray! To celebrate, I cut about a foot of hair off my head.
It seemed like the thing to do. I’m enjoying the featherless feeling.
Until next time!