Book - 2015
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In a disheveled and ransacked backyard, a dog named Simon has been forgotten by his owners. Simon breaks free and partners with a raccoon and a deer who take him into the woods. But Simon realizes he is not quite ready to live in the wild. And in the abandoned areas of the town strange things begin to happen. . . .

Vacancy explores the ways that animals think; how they internalize their changing environment and express their thoughts, fears, or excitement.

Jen Lee currently freelances in a farmhouse in Idaho. Her clients include Drop Dead Clothing, Burton, Boom! Studios, and Nickelodeon.

Publisher: London :, Nobrow,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ♭2015
ISBN: 9781907704970
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) :,colour illustrations


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Apr 27, 2016

Jen Lee's short, powerful comic, an entry in Nobrow's short format series intended to introduce audiences to new comic talent from throughout the world in quick, easily read bits, defies easy categorization and description. Lee's art is colorful and detailed, bringing her menacing yet cartoonish world and its animals dressed as punkish kids to life.

Set in a rundown, post apocalyptic suburban and wild landscape, Vacancy follows a young, reluctant dog who teams up with a pair of vagrant animals, a raccoon and a deer, to do some exploring in the woods for lack of food or anything better to do. There, they just manage to escape from a roving gang of stylish coyotes. In such short format, it was amazing how much story was packed in there, and I'm totally interested in looking at more of Jen Lee's work on her webcomic Thunderpaw, which seems to be connected to the setting in Vacancy. The anthropomorphic character and their style and dialogue really fascinated me, and I wonder how this relates to our generations today with our fears of a deteriorating natural environment and our place therein (or am I reading to much into a fun comic?) After all, life can be pretty wild for many of us as we set out into a complex world and encounter other new dangers.

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