The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon
Why am I writing about this book? I’m writing about this book because I’m jealous of how wonderful it is. Not only can Dillon tell a moving tale with warmth and honesty but he can tell it in an engaging and innovative way. So why am I jealous? I can also weave a story that lives with you long after you’ve read it so… Well, the reason I’m jealous is because not only can Dillon craft words into a tight narrative but he’s also a bloody good artist. Seriously just check out the Nao of Brown website for peeks inside:
I was rather excited to see that you could also buy toys that were featured in the story there! I haven’t bought any, yet.
Dillon is an excellent draughtsman; he uses very clean, economical lines and then washes over them with breathtaking watercolours. This isn’t your traditional comic book art, this is art. Each page could be framed and put on the wall it really is that good.
The story concerns Nao Brown an Anglo-Japanese woman who wants to find love but is afraid her neurosis will put those she cares about at risk. Nao has urges, very similar to Tourette’s Syndrome, in that she will think of the worst, most horrific, thing to do in social situations, visualise the consequences of them and then have to employ a range of coping strategies to stop herself from doing them. One of these strategies is Nao’s attendance at the local Buddhist temple, which as you’d expect, is serene and calming, that is until she notices the teacher’s penis is poking out of his shorts!
There are lots of wonderfully comic moments throughout the book but that doesn’t mean it’s a comedy. Her relationship with the sage like washing machine repair man is gentle and accommodating until, well I don’t want to spoil it.
My wife does not read comics but I went on and on about how wonderful this book was that she sat down and read it from cover to cover and thoroughly loved it.
I spotted The Nao of Brown on the shelf in Nostalgia Comics in Birmingham, it was £16.99, I did a quick scan on the phone and discovered I could save £6 at tax dodging amazon. I pondered and pontificated and then snatched it off the shelf. I’m so glad I did, it was one of the best £16.99s I’ve ever spent.
So if you never buy comics, or you rarely do, make sure you buy this one, you won’t regret it.