Short story compilations can sometimes be disappointing. They occasionally feel like they’re being used to publish experimental material, which sometimes works but often doesn’t. Sammy Harkham’s Everything Together isn’t one of these: it’s a near perfect collection of stories that simultaneously challenge and entertain the reader.
The stories vary in length from collections of just a few panels thorough to a couple of longer stories. My personal favourite is Poor Sailor, in which a man leaves his newly-wed wife to fend for herself while he goes on an epic, life-changing voyage with his brother. Things don’t go according to plan and it’s some time before he returns home.
Harkham is a natural story teller who uses words and illustration with equal skill. Both are exquisitely bound in his narratives, with the words leaving plenty of space for the pictures to do their work. It’s a terrific balancing act.
If you like the short story form, there’s a lot to enjoy in this book. The only disappointment is that, by the end, you’ll be craving more.