erasing clouds

by tonydoug wright

Cry Yourself to Sleep by Jeremy Tinder (Top Shelf Productions)

Adolescents dread the period in their lives when their carefree days of youth come to an end and a new era of adult responsibility begins. The transition to adulthood is never easy and there are plenty of overwhelming obstacles in the adult world to face. Two twenty-somethings and a robot creep their way into adulthood in Jeremy Tinderís humorous graphic novel titled Cry Yourself To Sleep.

The story follows three roommates: Jim, a rabbit, who yearns for a steady job and paycheck; Andy, a video store clerk, dreams of being a successful novelist; and Robot who wants to break free from his structured world in order to find a simpler lifestyle. All three characters face universal problems of depression and frustration but somehow they find happiness and stability.

Jim, the rabbit, is a fast-food employee who does not fit into the world of customer service because he is not a human. It appears that Jim can not catch a break at his job and he feels it has to do with societyís unwillingness to accept a rabbit in the workplace. ďDonít you play the species card, JimĒ says his human father who tries hard to motivate Jim into getting a steady job. Jimís father feels that his son needs direction in life so he finds Jim a job at the seed company.

Andy is a video store employee and an aspiring writer with a kind but naÔve soul. A child attempts to swindle Andy into allowing him access to the adult video section by wearing a fake moustache but the plot fails leaving Andy a little bit wiser. Andy searches for love and a book publisher willing to print his novel which his friends feel is unoriginal.

The last character is the ornery Robot who finds his world to be repetitive and mundane, so he befriends a bird who impresses him with a carefree attitude that forces him to re-examine his own life. Robot is amazed how the bird lives and wonders if he could live life like his feathered friend.

From there, Cry Yourself To Sleep examines how all three characters drop their adolescent ways in order to face their adult problems. Jim, Andy and Robot discover that life may not be what they expected but they have each other to survive a hectic environment. Jim represents the person who unsuccessfully runs the minimum wage gauntlet while Andy is the person content in a world free of challenges while Robot represents the person looking for some kind of rebirth.

Tinderís debut work is a quick but witty read featuring three enjoyable characters in Jim, Andy and Robot. Cry Yourself to Sleep does an excellent job of showing the frustrations and aspirations of twenty-somethingís who seem doomed to dead-end jobs and relationships that lack any kind of meaning. Tinder has successfully delivered a graphic novel that makes some readers look back at their youth and some readers to observe what they may face as young adults.

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