Harkness, M.S. – Time Under Tension


Time Under Tension

(Unasked for) peek behind the curtain time! Generally speaking, these days at least, I read a few comics on the weekend, sweep whatever thoughts float around in my head into a pile, write them out in a vague review format and set them to publish during the week. I mention that mostly because I read this a few days ago and it has spent the past few days battering my head all to bits and I feel like my thoughts about it are getting less coherent as time goes on, so unless I write something soon I might lose the power of language. M.S. has already shown that she’s fearless when it comes to telling tales about her life on the page, and if anything this book is her somehow peeling back another layer and getting even more revelatory. This covers the period of her life right after graduating from art school, when she was around 25. There were plenty of unresolved issues with Murmur, her kind of sort of ex who has a girlfriend (read past volumes, specifically Desperate Pleasures; it’s too much to get into here), her still making extra income with her escort work, trying to get certified to become a personal trainer, the usual attempt to figure out what’s next after graduating, her abusive father getting out of prison and him trying to reconnect, attempts to find a decent therapist that she could afford, even Murmur’s upcoming MMA fight. There’s a whole lot swirling around, and it’s all peppered with her devastating insights and mental journey, if that’s even a thing. I loved how it opens up with her alone at a bar, with no title or even the requisite legal info (that doesn’t pop up until around page 60). She’s at a celebration with some of her graduating class and seems like she’d rather be anywhere else. We get a series of flashbacks when one of them asks if her mother is coming, which does a fantastic job of laying out some basics for new readers while still including a lot of new information for the regulars. This is the part where I would like to hit you with a few quotes from the story (I even marked a few pages like a real reviewer) but you know what? Fuck that. You should read this, and discover those quotes, for yourself. Can you find the most devastatingly succinct way to to describe a fairly pleasant past relationship with some serious issues of all time? It’s on page 241, but that’s all the hints I’ll give. I’ve seen a few review quotes lying around (she’s on a nationwide tour as I’m writing this) that call her a generational talent, Ivan Brunetti even says on the back cover that she’s reached “the elusive ‘next level.'” Which, hell yeah she has. It’s a lot of pressure, no doubt about it, but after reading this? I think she can handle it, or just about anything else that life throws at her. $25

Posted on November 15, 2023, in Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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