There are more similarities between Getting it Together and the hit television show Friends besides Jenny D. Fine’s inspired cover art (six 20-somethings dressed in black and white holding primary-colored umbrellas). The group of friends is anchored together by a pair of Persian-American siblings, Lauren and Sam Aziz. Lauren’s dating Jack, Sam’s best friend, but she slept with Ashton (not while “on a break” but after the couple decided to “open their relationship up”). Lauren is in an indie rock band called Nipslip with Annie and Elijah. Sam is gay and hooking up with guys through dating apps. Their lives in the San Francisco Bay area intersect through a series of bars, coffee shops, and apartments while they are all trying to make sense of their relationships and themselves.
The biggest and most welcome difference from Friends is the diversity. The most colorful part of that show was the umbrellas in the opening. Getting it Together has a colorful, diverse cast of characters with different racial, cultural, and sexual identities.
It’s not always easy to follow the web of relationships, but a flowchart might help. Co-creators, Sina Grace and Omar Spahi have created a relatable, honest look at a likable group of young people (they seem to be in their early 20s-30s, so they are on the cusp between Millennials and Gen Z).
Grace was the comic book artist working on the iconic and all-too-short Iceman coming out arc for Marvel and has a string of both big titles for big comic publishers as well as his own indie comics.
Getting it Together is cute, but not too cute. It’s funny, but not hilarious. It’s honest, but not brutal. The characters are quirky, but not weirdly so. The first act throws us into the middle of Lauren and Jack’s breakup, and the second finds Sam stuck in the middle. The realization that the pivotal character is Lauren comes during a drug-filled truth session after a Nipslip gig at a rooftop bar.
Young adulthood is a weird time in everyone’s life. You’re blessed with youth, beauty, and friends, but lacking in self-awareness and direction. Getting it Together illustrates this beautifully in muted, earthy colors, and well-drawn panels.
And while it is filled with sex, drugs, and rock & roll, it’s a fairly tame slice of life comic that is light on tragedy and big on the kind of relationships that get us through our 20s.
Getting it Together would work in any adult graphic novel collection (mostly due to the aforementioned sex, drugs, and rock & roll).
Getting it Together
By Sina Grace, Omar Spahi
Art by Jenny D. Fine, Sina Grace, Mx. Struble
Image Comics, 2021
Publisher Age Rating: M for Mature
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)
Creator Representation: Queer