||Abandoned Cars is Tim Lane's first collection of graphic short stories, noirish narratives that are united by their exploration of the great American mythological drama by way of the desperate and haunted characters that populate itspages. Lane's characters exist on the margins of society--alienated, floating inthe void between hope and despair, confused but introspective.The writing is straightforward, the stories mainstream but told in a pulpyidiom with an existential edge, often in the first person, reminiscent of DavidGoodis's or Jim Thompson's prose, or of films like Pick-Up on South Street orOut of the Past. Visually, Lane's drawing is in a realistic mode, reminiscent ofCharles Burns, that heightens the tension in stories that veer between naturalism on the one hand and the comical,nightmarish, and hallucinatory on the other. Here, American culture is a thrift store and the characters are thrift storejunkies living among the clutter. It's an America depicted as a subdued and haunted Coney Island, made up of lostcharacters--boozing, brawling, haplessly shooting themselves in the face, and hopping freight trains in search of Elvis. Abandoned Cars is an impressive debut of a major young American cartoonist.