David Hahn is one of those artists that I absolutely adore, in particular his work on Bite Club. He has sharp lines, great anatomy and a fantastic feel for environments. In All Nighter, all of these strengths are apparent, and with an added bonus of being in ink sans color so you can see clearly all of the detail that he puts into the panels. Right from gritty cement beams to rubbish on the floor of a diner, you can almost feel the world that he is drawing.
In this book, he is also given the opportunity to tell a story but not one of vampires, or superheroes or anything fantastical. He is instead telling a story of a girl named Kit who is going off to art school and spends time in a diner with a deadbeat boyfriend, all while trying to figure out how to make ends meet on the bills. While that description doesn’t sound that exciting, Hahn managed to captivate me with dialogue and pace. His story evolves through each page, pulling layer after layer back from Kit’s life. You find out about her boyfriend, their past times and how Kit wants nothing but to leave him behind. You know about her flatmates, and their rent problems. You meet her Dad, who seems like every other Dad, hoping to help his kids get ahead by supporting them while keeping them on a fairly short leash.
Hahn does a good job keeping a few things back. There is a story about all of the extracurricular activities that deadbeat Dwayne and Kit have undertaken in the past. There is the story about her mother. There is the story about why they hang out at the All Nighter diner. There is … well you get the picture. The story unfolds in a really well-paced, interesting narrative, mostly told by Kit herself through self-exposition.
If you are looking for a break from tights and flight, I definitely recommend All Nighter to Hahn fans old and new.