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Sunset City [Paperback]

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Item Number 257533  
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Item description for Sunset City by Rob Osborne...

Sunset City is a typical retirement community. Its residents enjoy golf and gossip and they all seem content to fritter away their golden years. Except Frank McDonald. A retired widower, he wrestles with the question: why am I here? Reading the newspaper, Frank keeps up on the minutia of the day; it provides a buzz to an otherwise humdrum life. One morning, Frank is overcome by a startling story, and he does something extraordinary: he takes life by the balls.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   80
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.9" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.2"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 9, 2005
Publisher   AiT/PlanetLar
ISBN  1932051414  
ISBN13  9781932051414  

Availability  0 units.

More About Rob Osborne

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rob Osborne's obsession with world domination began at an early age. He read comic books about heroes and villains in epic struggle, clashing as the world hung in the balance. Eventually, he would utilize comic books as a means to his own global conquest. In 1000 Steps To World Domination, Rob spelled out his grand ambitions. The work won the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics in 2003, and shortly after, 1000 Steps was published as a graphic novel. Rob followed up with the surprising, critically-acclaimed graphic novella Sunset City. Other works include the comic book series The Nearly Infamous Zango, The Accountants, and Talking Noggins. Most recently, Rob released Old Man. Austin, Texas is Rob's current base of operations. He lives there with his wife and dogs. Visit and You may reach the author by email:

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Comic Strips > General
2Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > General
3Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > General
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Humor > General
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
6Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Aging Parents > Retirement Planning

Reviews - What do customers think about Sunset City?

Excellent, if rough around the edges...  Jun 7, 2007
For the first graphic novel and second published book by writer/artist Rob Osborne (the first a collection of humor strips called "1000 Steps to World Domination), this is really something remarkable. It reads like a Russell Banks short story, if Banks wrote about suburban Arizona instead of rural New Hampshire.

The story of Frank, a discontented widower going through the motions of life in his senior retirement community, takes on a sort of everyman role here. He's all of us at one point or another, stuck in patterns, wishing we weren't, but lacking the reason or the stimulation to do anything about it. Frank's reason comes suddenly enough, and his "taking life by the balls" scene happens within a couple pages of the end of the book, leaving everything feeling a little bit rushed, but long afterwards the story sticks with the reader. There's a visceral, really nasty edge to this story, a vibe the art enhances, with its razor lines, making everyone's face look cut from glass. The elderly resident's doughy wrinkles become jagged scars, the eyes arched and tipped, faces frozen and waxy, sunsets and clouds could just as easily be toxic plumes, the houses squat, black shapes, like mausoleums... everything's a little bit off, a little bit wrong, a little scary, completely effective.

The ending of the story, in a sort of epilogue, hints at Frank's happiness-to-come, but as it exists in the shadow of the previous scene, and reads as ominous, saving it from being too "Hollywood", where the guy gets the girl and everyone lives happily ever after. Not likely. Frank's got the taste of blood, and I suspect he's just getting started. Leaving the reader suspecting, guessing, half-wanting to know but not really, is a masterful way to bring this book to a close.

For its faults, of which there are surprisingly few for a major first work, Sunset City is a great piece of short fiction. It suffers a bit from how it's presented here, a too-slim graphic novel, but still worth the cover price, and benefits from multiple readings. I would have loved two other shorts to be included, and it be offered as a collection, a "Sunset City and other stories" sort of thing. Perhaps one day down the line, Osborne'll have the material to get such a collection into print. I hope so. I'll be waiting.

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