Meanwhile, by Shiga, and is a sort of create your own adventure book, as we all may remember from our childhood. You might remember from those books statements like “if you choose to fight the dragon, turn to page twelve.” Meanwhile, however, is different from those books in a number of important ways. First, it is a comic book. That is, instead of the single picture and accompanying text, these pages are loaded with pictures with the text embedded in the action like a comic book. Unlike a comic book this book does not have a left to right, top to bottom orientation. Instead, small “tubular vessels” connect each drawing to another, be it on the same page, or on a different one. By making choices that are also embedded in the pictures, you can lead your character to a large number of stories, some ending without much incident, others in death.
The book lends itself to flipping willy-nilly through the pages so as to catch a gleam of what might happen, but the complex pathing would make it difficult to follow. Also, the reader is cautioned at the beginning of the book that, “cheaters only cheat themselve.”
I chose this book because at first it appeared to be a comic book cheaply printed in a coverless stapled package of papers. Once I realized that the book was a sort of choose your own adventure, childhood nostalgia guided me to choose it. Once I looked at it more closely, I immediately found my choice to be justified. The story makes full use of the potential of this kind of storytelling by including time traveling, dead parents, poisoned icecream, and much more.