Written and Drawn by Various
Published by
Actus/Top Shelf

The Israeli artistic collective Actus returns with another anthology volume in HOW TO LOVE, and as you’d expect from their earlier works (including Rutu Modan’s own EXIT WOUNDS), it’s an exceptional effort. Across six stories, the group dives into the topic of love with intellectual and emotional fervor, and there isn’t a dud in the bunch.

My favorite piece in the book is Mira Friedmann’s “Independence Day,” In it, a young girl looking to impress the boy she likes, crosses the border into Jordan and finds herself caught by enemy police. What happens there, and the resolution she gets from her actions, has a really fascinating truth about it, as she learns that sometimes bravery is not enough. A close second for me was Modan’s “Your Number One Fan,” focusing on a would-be singer off on a trip to England for his first overseas gig. Again, the work has a strong emotional core to it, and the ending packs quite a wallop.

Rounding out the package is, well, the package itself. The book is brought together in a very handsome hardcover edition, the cover reproducing a stunning page from Batia Kolton’s opening tale, “Summer Story.” In short, this is a highly recommended book, one for fans of quality indy material.

Marc Mason