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Scenes from an Impending Marriage

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,967 ratings  ·  381 reviews


At the behest of his soon-to-be wife, Adrian Tomine set out to create a wedding favor for their guests that would be funnier and more personal than the typical chocolate bars and picture frames. What started out as a simple illustrated card soon grew into a full-fledged comic book: a collection of short
Hardcover, 54 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  2,967 ratings  ·  381 reviews

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Jan Philipzig
Well, that was nice. Tiny and short and maybe a little "sketchy" (at least by Tomine's own standards, as Liam tells me - thanks!), but nice. It's a collection of short strips that humorously depict the road to Tomine's own real-life wedding: "We're getting sucked into a black hole of nuptial narcissism!" "If anyone could hear our whining, they'd hate us." "I hate us." And best of all, it served as an actual memento for the wedding guests to take home - certainly a 5-star read for them.

For me, it
Anya (~on a semi-hiatus~)
Have you any idea about what terrible monstrosities Indian weddings are? They are huge. Like, Indian elephant huge. And they aren’t even a one-day affair; oh no, they drag on and on for days and while they are fun for most of the people, sadly, my anti –social proclivities beg to differ (gasp, shock, horror etc).

My cold, cold heart notwithstanding, I found this graphic novelette to be incredibly adorable. This little comic was created by Adrian Tomine as a wedding favour for their guests because
Seth T.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
When I was in the midst of my own ridiculously long engagement to Michelle, I was something of a stick in the mud. I complained about a lot of the irrational things that we were for some reason expected to do as part of the social ritual. Unity candle. Bouquet toss. White wedding dress. Bridesmaids and groomsmen. Inviting people. The usual.

Scenes from an Impending Wedding

I’ve never been big on traditions and have always done what I could to pare down the detritus that’s accumulated over the decades and centuries on the shores
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jill and other newly-weds
I have a highly sophisticated starring system. If I get a feel-goody-feel-good-feeling about something - FIVE STARS!

Here are my reasons for the feel-goody-feel-goodness:

#1. Look at that little stubby legged couple on the cover, doesn't that make you kind of sort of think Marriage might not be such a ludicrous idea after all?

#2. I REALLY admire people that can laugh at themselves, and this book does that.

#3. I read this in between "Lint" and "Essex County
May 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
One of the strips in this graphic novel suggests this may actually be Tomine's wedding favor, and I think friends and family of Tomine probably enjoyed this more than I did. Having just gone through the wedding rigamarole myself, I can relate to many aspects of this little tome but none of them were especially hilarious, poignant or encapsulating to me. I liked the format and at 50 pages, I was a (mostly) satisfied reader. ...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This short comic book is made up of brief comic strips Adrian Tomine wrote/drew about his upcoming marriage to his wife Sarah. They take in things like planning for a wedding DJ, sorting out the wedding invites, worrying about what to wear, etc. In short the banal details of planning for such an event.

I love Tomine's work usually but this book (originally done as a party favour for the wedding guests) isn't as interesting as he and his nearest and dearest would like you to think. It's the usual
Hannah Garden
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
I almost forgot I read this. And I just read it like two days ago or something. Basically this book shows you how Adrian Tomine is kind of a jerk, and then punctures all the romance you might have been clinging to about what it would be like to marry that jerk you've always loved so much, even though he is a *jerk*. No sir, jerks of America, you look like you would absolutely suck to get married to.

***I keep trying to cuss less in these reviews for my Mom & Mrs. Holt but it is HARD NOT TO CUSS.
Shruthi Mudireddy
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
A very cute, short and funny memoir. The art is nothing phenomenal, but it is endearingly reminiscent of the ups and downs of the times before a wedding.
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I loooooved this book!!! Honestly, it made me smile and laugh out loud so much - I received quite a few strange looks on the train to work!

The characters are Adrian (author) and Sarah (his fiancé) and follows all of the mini dilemmas they have to endure before the big day arrives including deciding on a guest list, invitations, venue, music and florist. I particularly loved the sections 'D.J. (part one)' and 'Florist'.

The book captures the varied emotions couples often experience beforehand an
So cute. It's totally a minicomic Tomine made as the favor for his wedding. Depicts the various trials and tribulations of a slightly progressive young couple preparing for the wedding. He uses Charles Schulz style imagery and they are appropriately apologetic about their level of privelege. Sweet, and I would choose to be friends with them, but there's no greater story, we don't get to know the characters very well, not a lot of depth. Which is the only reason why it's not a four star piece - T ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-memoir
Just read it and enjoyed it as I do all of Tomine's stuff... though it is obviously less edgy than earlier material... and softened by the presence of the betrothed... who undermines the narrator's humorously bleak cynicism...

This was worked up as a wedding favor for those who attended Tomine's wedding, so it is actual memoir, and is a little cute, and almost completely mundane, more cartoony than any of his other work, so maybe more likable for most (and the guests, of course!), but for me,okay
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Raina gave this to me for Chrismas, and it made me very happy. I wish I had a talent that was actually useful for planning my wedding and making it super personalized and adorable...I wanna draw everyone a comic book as a wedding favor...

Since I am in the midst of planning a wedding, this was a charming, lovely book to read to remind me that really the whole point of married is...well...getting married. And all the other stuff will happen, and I shouldn't stress out too much over it.

A fun, light
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Like the new (Sep. 14 2011) Optic Nerve #12, this book showcases some of Tomine's humor, which is easier to miss in his tighter and more dramatic stories. It's not a profound statement on the subject of marriage and wedding preparations, but it doesn't need to be, it's enough that it's a funny book that'll make you think about your own weddings and relationships. ...more
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a cute, honest, and incredibly fast read. If you see this in a store, you could probably stand there and read it in 30 minutes.

Clearly the people getting married wanted to do all the work that goes into a big wedding, but I can't see how anyone would actually want that after reading this. To each their own! This would make a cute wedding/engagement present.
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cute, quirky and quick!

Some short stories based off the hardships of wedding planning. The books almost too short to give away details but I think it would make a great wedding gift for someone!
My wife plopped this book down on my desk with a note that said, "Is cute+hert[sic] warming. read! :)" With an intro like that, how could I refuse?

And having read it, I can see why. The two of us were really similar to Adrian Tomine and his fiancée when we were planning our own wedding--or at least, to how they are depicted in the pages of Scenes from an Impending Marriage, though I like to think that I was slightly less cantankerous. Maybe it's just because she did almost all of the planning an
Matt Graupman
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
With his "Optic Nerve" comics and his illustration work for The New Yorker, Adrian Tomine is known for his restrained storytelling and precise drawing style. "Scenes From An Impending Marriage" is a welcome change of pace for him. The comics in this book began as a mini-comic that served as his wedding favors and they've been expanded slightly with a prologue and epilogue. It's short, charming, a tad sloppy, and honest about the stresses that go along with planning a wedding.

Drawn in a much sket
Kerri De
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Scenes from an Impending Marriage is a graphic novel which follows Adrian and Sarah as they transition from dating to being engaged. Sarah is organized and begins to plan right away while Adrian relaxes with no intention of helping. The plot develops as they begin to plan their wedding from invitations to the reception. As Sarah begins to plan an over the top wedding Adrian is along for the ride looking to down the plans at every step. This creates tension and stress as they both start to realiz ...more
Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Perhaps this is only worth reading if you really like Tomine &/or wedding planning.

I do.

Stuck at a 'not-so-academic' science conference I suggested my friend whom had recently married read this to introduce her to indie comics. She asked for another after she was done.

This is a wedding memoir so it is sort of silly to 'rate' this as if it were a fiction intended to entertain me. Made using earlier techniques and setups than his real fiction during the busy days before the wedding, it is not as
Eva Nickelson
Dec 10, 2011 rated it liked it
It's cute, it's short, it is probably magnitudes better if you know the couple. Most books that deal with the "trials" of getting married (finding a venue, making a guest list, etc.) seem to run on and on, so by the end of the book, I am happy that the couple is getting married, mainly so I can stop reading about their quibbles. The brevity of the book kept me interested and invested in seeing the couple make it down the aisle.
I loved the art work and simplicity of the style used to illustrate
C.J. Cummings
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of Adrian Tomine, have been since being sucked into Killing & Dying and loving my experience. This is an observational and biographical account of the planning, realisation and aftermath of his marriage. We follow him and his wife as they go about the decision making process that come with a wedding, the day itself and the arrival at the hotel for the honeymoon. Having just recently been through this whole thing with my better half I thoroughly enjoyed this. It had the low-key humour o ...more
Lena Tumasyan
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have read ALL of Adrian Tomine's graphic novels. I borrowed this one to add to my collection yet I had NO IDEA that it would be so personal. And I LOVED IT.
Adrian is funny, sincere, sweet, and honest. You can see not only the turmoil that planning a wedding puts a couple through but also his response and his fiancee's response. I was literally LAUGHING OUT LOUD through half of it. That was GREAT bc most of Adrian's stuff is serious, or only slightly funny in a dark sort of way, like "for bette
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A gift from a lovely friend, Scenes came at the right time: just before my very own wedding. This sweet little book chronicles the inevitable, mundane and often unnecessary tasks to be completed before any wedding. The awkward making of the guest list, the impossibly boring process of choosing florists, venues and attire, often paired with a bout of existential angst and panic attacks. It is all very much bitter sweetly familiar to me. Sarah and Adrian are relatable and their nuptial sorrows are ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Brief, charming, and personal look at the lead up to Adrian Tomine's own wedding told through his sketches comprising a series of vignettes covering pretty standard wedding prep (the invite, the DJ, seating arrangements, etc.). ...more
Emilia P
Dec 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-books
How awesome is this? So awesome. Ok... maybe not utterly perfect, but still, bite-sized, real, universal, get a fantastic sense of the relationship between these two crazy kids -- the reasons they're getting married evident in their comfortable bickering, their Wire-watching/multi-tasking, their personal attachment to different parts of the process, and definitely, especially, their hamburgers at the end of it all.

If it's anything like this (and it is, actually), it's gonna be great.

Hank Stuever
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Maybe it's best when Adrian Tomine tells stories that are more vaguely autobiographical than directly so. Sort of interesting to watch him cashier this much of his hipster cred on something so banal as the same wedding hassles everyone in the world has already kvetched about. The art and pacing, still, are the real draw. (Haha. "Draw." Ehhhh.) ...more
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book does imply it was the wedding favor at the author's own wedding, which is pretty cute. I have long been a big fan of Tomine's work, and I love how well he captures dailiness and intimacy. This one naturally has less bite to it than his other work, but it's a lovely and funny confection. ...more
Inna Komarovsky-Rana
This book is small and very sweet and light-hearted. It's made up of short stories and instances, and the best part is how precisely Tomine depicts the characters' expressions and body language within each tiny frame. ...more
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is just plain out-and-out cute and funny.
Adrian captures all the miseries of planning a big wedding in a few pages.
I think it's brilliant.

Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is absolutely everything about getting engaged, being engaged, and getting married. Hilarious and grounding all at the same time. Just perfect.
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ADRIAN TOMINE was born in 1974 in Sacramento, California. He began self-publishing his comic book series Optic Nerve. His comics have been anthologized in publications such as McSweeney’s, Best American Comics, and Best American Nonrequired Reading, and his graphic novel "Shortcomings" was a New York Times Notable Book of 2007. His next release, "Killing and Dying" will be published by Drawn and Q ...more

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