Empire State by Jason Shiga
Empire State by Jason Shiga

Empire State

A Love Story (or Not)
by Jason Shiga
(*)(*)(*)( )( )(3)
Empire State is a graphic novel with a bold visual approach and chronology and a timeless story: the vagaries of love and friendship and the mish-mash of both. Jimmy is a twenty-something, stereotypical geek who's living at home in Oakland, working at the library, and trapped in his own torpidity. When his best girl friend Sara (a girl and a friend, but not a girlfriend) declares she's moving to New York City to get a life (translation: an apartment in Brooklyn and a publishing internship), Jimmy is rattled. Then lonely. Then desperate. He screws up his courage, writes Sara a letter about his true feelings for her, and asks her to meet him at the top of the Empire State Building (a nod to their ongoing debate about Sleepless in Seattle). He then sets off on a cross-country bus trip to New York, a journey that is as hapless and funny as Jimmy himself. When he arrives in the city he's thought of as "festering hell hole," Jimmy is surprised by how exciting he finds New York-and how heartbreaking: Sara pretends she didn't get his letter and even worse, has a boyfriend!
Empire State is a quirky comedy about the struggle for self-understanding and a place in the world from one of the most inventive creators working in the graphic novel medium.