This collection of graphic short stories, quirky and ephemeral though they seem at first, are indelible in the mindIn Jillian Tamaki’s graphic short story Half Life, a young woman called Helen tries on a previously too-small dress to work out whether or not she has lost weight. And, yes, it seems that her friends, half-jealous and half-admiring, were right. Ta-dah! She really is smaller. Before the mirror in her guest bedroom, she performs a delighted little twirl. After this, though, things begin to get weird. She is visibly shrinking – and fast, too. In the street, she is mistaken for a child; at home, she can only stir the pan on her hob if she stands on a chair. Her sister, keen to protect her ever more miniature dignity, gamely stitches her a new wardrobe of doll-sized clothes but, alas, she doesn’t get to wear them for very long. In the next frame, we find her sleeping in a match box, and in the one after that, she is living in a special glass enclosure designed by doctors to prevent her being devoured by an insect or swept up on a passing bit of pollen. No one knows what has caused this condition, but in all likelihood, it won’t be long before Helen is invisible to the human eye.
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