By AJ Dungo
A tale of love, heartbreak and surfing from an important new voice in comics. In Waves is Craig Thompson's Blankets meets William Finnegan's Barbarian Days.
In this visually arresting graphic novel, surfer and illustrator AJ Dungo remembers his late partner, her battle with cancer, and their shared love of surfing that brought them strength throughout their time together. With his passion for surfing uniting many narratives, he intertwines his own story with those of some of the great heroes of surf in a rare work of nonfiction that is as moving as it is fascinating.
One of NPR's Favorite Books of 2019
“Nature is massive: Human forms are diminutive when measured against Dungo’s spare representations of starry skylines, butterflies, mountain ranges and, primarily, the ocean, a striking and dense blue against the panels’ abundant white space. […] On two-page spreads that recall Raymond Pettibon’s mesmerizing large-scale paintings of Hermosa Beach’s wave riders, Dungo is engulfed by marble seawater, its dark swirls more closely resembling snaking wood grain than they do any ocean.”
—The Los Angeles Times
"While 'In Waves' packs an emotional punch, Dungo avoids sentimentality and is careful not to miscast the ocean as some soppy metaphor for salvation. The book seems to argue that life and death are what they are, and riding waves is no shortcut to health or happiness—it can, however, provide momentary escape, a temporary shelter, a kind of peace. As Dungo states, loss often leaves us alone 'with only water to comfort.'"