Wow, our first review from the good people over at Reading Room for Emerald Street
NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL: DAN AND SAM BY MARK WATSON AND OLIVER HARUD
Dan and Sam own a north London restaurant, one of those places that gets described as a “best-kept secret” by people who are queuing halfway down the street. They’re a happy couple, dishing out hot food and warm advice, loved by staff, regulars and critics. A couple of dine-and-dash incidents introduce a cloud into their world. It’s the loss of their faith in human nature, rather than the cost of the meal (£43.75), that bothers them.
Sam chases after the next pair of fleeing diners, running out of the restaurant and into the road. Then she’s run down, One Day-fashion, and Dan arrives just in time to hold his dying wife in his arms and to hear her last words. “Just promise you’ll always be mine,” she says. It’s a dramatic opener and not one that bodes well.
Stand-up Mark Watson is half of the duo behind Dan And Sam. As a comedian he’s developed an edgy, neurotic persona and shown a keen eye for detail. He’s also written several books. These could broadly be termed romantic comedies, but a strong sense of human darkness pervades.
Watson, you think, has the measure of modern love – the bitter and the sweet. He’s teamed up with illustrator Oliver Harud, who creates a believable world and makes great use of sudden bursts of colour. Dan And Sam will keep you turning pages then send you back to look at the details. A best-kept-secret of a book.
Mark Watson and Oliver Harud’s Dan And Sam is published by Picador on Thursday (£14.99)