Preview Magazine, December 2002 issue




Itís fun to think about: what happened to Adam and Eve after Eden (well, besides them making a lot of babies), and could modern-day lovers e their reincarnations? Arnold Arre (creator of the award-winning Trip to Tagaytay and The Mythology Class) attempts to answer these questions obliquely, with wonderful results.


His latest graphic novel, After Eden, tells the story of Celine and Jon, estranged childhood friends who bonded over nasty pranks and seesaws. A mall brawl and an automobile mishap bring them together, sparking the genesis of a romance that changes six lives.


This work will appeal even to readers who wouldnít be caught dead carrying around a comic book. Itís a perceptive narrative told in clean, expressive images rooted in the story of the Biblical garden with pop-cultural references to Sesame Street and video games. At times mushy but never quite saccharine, After Eden succeeds in depicting the stages and complexities of man-woman relationships ñ the panels where the lead loversí incongruous thoughts are juxtaposed as they go through the same experiences are funny and true. With a literal band of long-legged angels coaxing them to ìremember the seasonî, After Eden will move even the most cynical city-dwellers and holiday Scrooges.

-Naya Valdellon