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Others >> Coexisting by Andrew Drozd ( Volume 1)  
by Alternative Comics
Now here's an interesting story that resonates with a struggle I have often in my own life: How do you respect others' religious beliefs when you just can't wrap your head around believing that way? Drozd presents his autobiographical avatar as something of a short-fuse tempered jerk, and his insensitivity to his friend's religion as an offshoot of that, but he also presents the religion as something fundamentally illogical. Basically, it's a good balance between respect for other opinions and the recognition that most people just don't have that respect, or have to fight their own inner nature to get it. Drozd's art style is fairly simplistic, but he uses simple wardrobe devices to keep the characters distinct and has some interesting storytelling tricks, such as the three parallel viewpoints in the opening part of the story that begin to converge into one viewpoint as the story moves on. Using a basic art vocabulary and a story that resolves around conversations, Drozd manages to explore some fairly complex issues. Coexisting is the story of an unusual friendship, but more than that, it's an examination of social issues. Drozd contrasts Marcus's homophobia with Andrew's intolerance of religion and tries to indicate that everyone has their own hang-ups, as well as including an examination of the ethics of Wal-Mart. These are all big issues, all inter-related as our culture continues to reshape itself, and it would be impossible to cover it all even in a graphic novel, let alone a 32 page comic, but Drozd raises some interesting points and tells a good self-contained story in the course of things.

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