By Yeon-sik Hong
Drawn & Quarterly, 2017. 572 pgs. Graphic Novel
The hustle and bustle of Seoul, as well as the high cost of rent, pushes Yeon-sik and his wife to move to the Korean countryside where they hope to live more economically. If only he can get away from the rushed city life and live peacefully, Yeon-sik thinks he will be able to focus on his comics, beat his writer’s block, and meet the constant deadlines. However, life atop an uninhabited mountain presents its own trials. Together, the couple works through the challenges of secluded living, and find pleasure in simpler things, like the smell of the forest and cultivating their own garden.
There are a lot of things that can sap the creativity out of a person. As the wife of an artist, I understand how real and debilitating Yeon-sik’s struggles can be. The idea that, if I do [insert task], then I’ll be able to focus on this creative task entirely, and then one task leading to another, is not uncommon in my house. Really, these struggles are not limited to just one profession, making this a very relatable read. I really appreciated how honest the author is. There were just a few panels I found confusing, and it felt like some of the stories ended so abruptly that I was caught off guard. Despite that, I did enjoy this graphic novel and could easily recommend it to others.