Vacations are nice, an all-ages diversion, but it is during YA-hood that a summer holiday reaches nearly apotheosic levels of freedom. Cousin-team Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s”This One Summer” is a seasonal ode to the way a handful of idle weeks can transform the universe of an observant adolescent. 15-year old Rose spends her summers at an idyllic cottage in Awago Beach with her parents and her best friend Windy, but “this one summer” the real world encroaches. Her parents are fighting over “adult junk that doesn’t mean anything.” The pimply-faced “older” teenager who works the convenience store acquires magical attraction powers. So do horror movies, from Freddy to Jason. And the specter of S-E-X haunts the woods. The coming-of-age rituals are fairly standard, but here they are elevated by Mariko’s nuanced story-telling and Jillian’s masterful drawings: she makes faces and natural landscapes equally expressive. Together, the Tamaki team knows how to capture the woods and the waves… and the ways young people simultaneously blossom and drown. Up there with Craig Thompson’s now classic “Blankets.”
RATING : MASTERPIECE!