Reading Canadian Cartoonist Billy Mavreas' Next Time Around feels a lot more like reading a work of visual poetry than a comic. The blend of his thick and deep ink icons mixed with his melancholic charcoal illustrations creates an inexplicable poetic mood throughout the comic. Even after the near-death experience the comic is focused on, the character visually becomes brighter in shade, as if they themselves have become enlightened by the event, possessing a new perspective on the world. The visually ambiguous nature of the main character also makes them easy to relate to, especially in the first pages of the story where they ask themself where they believe their story starts and if everyone has a story.
Not only the part where the character struggles with their own story is autobiographical according to Mavreas, but the references to visiting his mother at the beginning and the end of the graphic novel. To Mavreas, his regrets about the inevitable times he, as well as everyone, dismisses their loved ones is always regretted to him, and in a book about near-death experiences. Next Time Around is a truly unique and introspective graphic novel. Highly reccomended