Greetings! This week, once again, I noticed half of my book purchases were done because they had pretty covers. Sure, they are from certain series by publishers I trust and frequently read from but that doesn’t stop me from judging the material based on its appearance. I finally decided to embrace the fact that I’m: superficial! Whew, it was a freeing moment. And you guessed right, I got to read today’s title after seeing the poster and header images, especially because they reminded me of Alphonse Mucha’s famous commercial posters and decorative panels. Can you blame me?
Title: Your Eyes, My Words
Author & Artist: Joeun
Release Year: 2019
Status: Completed, 20 chapters.
Licensed? (Y/N): Yes, on Tapas!
Hwane is your typical studious, timid, glasses-wearing, and lanky 3rd year. One day he’s supposed to cover for his friend and stand at the entrance to monitor students’ uniforms. He comes across an underclassman with no name tag, stops him, and asks for a name. The guy tries to get away, but when Hwane keeps pestering, he kisses Hwane on the lips and runs away. And this sort of becomes a game of tag, which later on transforms into 30-minute kissing sessions during the lunch break. None of them confront the intent or the feelings behind these sessions, and Hwane’s high school life comes to an end with Jinha’s answer to a friend’s question that will forever haunt him: I don’t know that upperclassman.
Hwane knows he’s gay and has his fair share of one-night-stands after graduating high school. Fast forward, his aunt wants to gift Hwane and his brother a bespoke suit because they joined the work force, and faith brings Hwane and Jinha in that tailoring shop once again. With heavy baggage still weighing on their shoulders all those years, will becoming boyfriends be enough to solve their untangled past?
Your Eyes, My Words is a very down-to-earth study of yearning, confrontation, and acceptance of self, as well as the other. There’s joy and relatability I get from stories and situations where nothing is clear-cut, feelings or thoughts that are half-communicated or assumed, the passage of time is hard to accept. There’s a tension in the story that’s masterfully carried from start to finish, and it’s so thick and always there that I couldn’t stop myself until I saw ‘The End’. Since the series is so short, the focus might seem only on Hwane and Jinha but on the contrary; we have love rivals, a reunion with an old best friend, sexual tension, misunderstandings, losing sight of what matters to them, you name it. However, everything is weaved into the narrative so beautifully that nothing feels out of place, too much or stretched.
The art style and character designs are rather unique, and very much to my taste. Although I’m not sure if I’m reading into it too much, I was also struck by the color coding in the series where we start with cold, bluish purples, and lime. After Hwane and Jinha start dating, the hue turns warmer, into rosy pinks and soft yellows. But even then, there are times where the brightness changes or characters being different from each other are reflected in the color swapping between the hair and clothing. The lines are quite bold and give an ‘inked’ feeling to the series. The series I read are almost always either in full color or black and white, but I don’t come across a limited color palette often. It was a welcomed change and interesting to see how artists can find ways to be expressive with less.
I don’t have much else to say other than begging you to give this a chance because it’s that good, in my opinion. A poignant story, beautiful art, only 20 chapters but packed with so many emotions. Perfect series to get sad and happy over on a Tuesday night!
As always, thank you for giving my post a read, and next week we’ll be having our grand finale! Hope life is treating you well, and see you ~