Mirroring the world we live in, the protagonist of this graphic novel comes from a broken home. However, in this case, the term is quite literal. Due to freak accidents at the steelworks where his parents work, his mom is snapped, his dad is flattened. As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, one day, he suffers his own life-changing experience: mistakenly swallowing a glob of molten metal gives him the strange power to radiate heat and light — like a lightbulb. As he grows up, evolving from Bulb Boy to Mr. Lightbulb, he finds that his unique abilities can be a curse and a blessing; while they alienate him from others, they also allow him to shine.
At once surrealist, comedic, heartbreaking, bitterly sarcastic, and deeply sincere, Mr. Lightbulb is an essential work of comics autobio. With bold, expressive ink strokes and brilliant use of visual metaphor, Wojtek Wawszczyk renders an affecting self-portrait, as his protagonist balances challenging family dynamics with his creative ambitions and desire to forge his way in the world. This book, which clocks in at over 600 pages, combines a grand scope with brisk plotting, adding up to a tour de force of artistry and honesty.