Boundless uses a constantly varying visual treatment that keeps readers on their toes and mixes and matches artistic styles with a proliferating set of genres, from speculative fiction to domestic drama to magical realism. If a reader comes to Boundless with assumptions about visual storytelling, Tamaki will confound them ... Boundless continues her efforts to explore the full lives of women and, subtly, the societal expectations placed on them ... In Boundless, Tamaki tackles subtle shifts in emotion, identity, and power. Her visual talent has long been obvious. This solo collection now proves her strength as a storyteller in her own right and that, of course, the drawing is central to that process.
Tamaki’s short comics, as they appear in her aptly titled new collection, Boundless, all have this surface lightness; they’re never anything less than droll. But something sharper and darker is simultaneously at work below. Fleeting as they are – most can be read in as long as it takes to order and receive a latte – each one is as indelible as it is singular ... Each one is so beautifully told that after a while you begin to feel that Tamaki, whose last book, SuperMutant Magic Academy, was a New York Times bestseller, is capable of almost anything. And perhaps she is ... these are models of the form.
In every story, Tamaki’s artwork is a treat. Her confident line work alternates between bold, thick outlines and finer, jittery pen strokes, and she often expands scenes to fill whole pages ... In these marvelously odd, sf-tinged packages, Tamaki captures deep truths about the human experience. Even animal characters, as in the titular story, have the petty, hypocritical, overanalyzing tendencies of her human characters. And yet, nothing ever seems grim: despite the disappointments, there are moments of satisfaction in breaking free of the expectations that weigh down her characters. It’s a profoundly honest, bittersweet picture of human nature, made all the more haunting by her enchanting artwork.