Writer: Ana Galvan
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
The 'Once Party' menu, for ages 11 and up, can only be ordered once (of course). But there's a catch: not everyone who does gets the special prize. Those who do, go to a room where they can view five minutes of one of three moments in their future. Galva manages to create a vivid world that is both a recognizable and alien depiction of adolescence. There are mean girls, and fast food, and BFFs with crappy older brothers, as well as familiar hints of 1990s design and fashion. Yet, it's also rife with futuristic flourishes like little robotic eggs that walk and talk, like anthropomorphic Alexas. At its heart, however, Afternoon at McBurger's is a timeless story about friendship and innocence and the discoveries of adolescence (both good and bad), with layers to be revealed only through multiple readings. And Galva's visual style, anchored by a mastery of pastel and primary colors, will make you want to do so immediately.