Some people might dismiss Sakugawa’s I Think I Am In Friend Love With You. The book design is neither flashy or colorful. Its title is a bit awkward. The text and art appear to be minimal. Except for a curious, one eyed figure on the cover that might be a relative of The Addams Family Thing, nothing about this book calls attention to itself.
To disregard this book would be an oversight.
Between the covers Sakugawa embraces a pared down style, a storyteller’s version of wabi sabi, the Japanese aesthetic of restraint and joy in simplicity — the just so of being — to explore with considerable vulnerability the emotional connection that sometimes arises in platonic friendships, a space occupied somewhere between amiability and romantic love. A crush for the 21st century in which human emotion and desire attempt to bridge the otherwise impersonal gap between us and the people we encounter on the Internet and during our daily lives between home and work or school. Sakugawa invites and encourages contemplative reflection from the reader with her use of restrained, pithy dialog and somewhat amorphous (and gender non-specific) beings rendered in thick, fluid brush lines that are evocative representations of our interior selves. My experience of reading Friend Love recalled another encounter with art in a very different setting. I had dismissed the modernist paintings of Mark Rothko as simplistic and uninteresting until the after I walked into Houston’s Rothko Chapel and sat on one of the concrete benches surrounded by a number of large scale monochrome canvasses. Five minutes passed, then ten. After twenty minutes sitting quietly it was as if the paintings were revealing themselves to me and creating an emotional space between them and me.
Friend Love is just like the really wonderful gift that comes in a small package.
Or to play off the publisher’s blurb on the back cover you could say this book is awesomesauce! That works great too!
Please consider your local bookstore or purchase this book from Amazon by clicking the following link.
I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You