Learn to Love “With Great Abandon”

With Great Abandon by E.H. Macmillan
With Great Abandon by E.H. Macmillan

Two men meet, bond over comic books, and explore their relationship in this quiet but evocative webcomic.

Harry (a gay trans man) encounters Russell (a gay cis man) at the Forbidden Planet comic book store in London where the latter works. The two eventually become close and fall for each other. But then Russell gets the opportunity to study art at a college outside London. Harry isn’t sure whether their relationship can get through this unexpected situation. When Russell temporarily moves out, Harry slips into depression wondering if things between them will ever work out.

With Great Abandon by E.H. Macmillan tracks a relationship over a year. The story shows the highs and lows of being in a romantic relationship without utilizing overdramatic or exaggerated narrative choices. The love between Harry and Russell naturally acclimates, and they learn how to navigate what works best for them. The panels show snippets of their dates and significant moments beautifully, not relying on dialogue to drive the point across. Simple displays of objects and body language grace the panels. Art, rather than dialogue, says that Harry works at a restaurant. Macmillan effortlessly organizes those quiet but effective moments, wielding the power of a visual storyteller.

With Great Abandon Screenshot 1
With Great Abandon (Harry is on the top left panel)

Harry, at first, doesn’t tell Russell that he’s trans, but when he does it’s casual. It’s natural and positive; there’s no “punishment” for shock value afterward (i.e., being physically attacked or hit by a car). The moment is realistic and sweet, and the two love each other for themselves and have a support system among their friends. The story focuses on bracing through the obstacles — including a long distance relationship — that appear before them. Harry and Russell learn to love without hard expectations, that they should enjoy life together while they can.

With Great Abandon gorgeously executes a hopeful story about keeping faith in a relationship, even when things don’t work out along the way.

With Great Abandon is available to read on WebToon.

 

For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!

Author: Brahidaliz Martinez

Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. They’re a submissions editor for Uncanny Magazine. Their various areas of interest include intersectionality in apocalyptic and disaster films, Artificial Intelligence, writing for animation, YA SFF, and LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media.

Pronouns: he/they
Location: DC Metro area

Twitter: @brahidaliz


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