I started Night Bus in November of 2022 and finished in January 2023. This was partly because I took my time reading as it was complex and needed time, I was unable to concentrate on it as I never found a good reading time where it was quiet without a lot of distractions, and I took a long break in between to read other things as my brain needed a cleaning out of the oddness of Zuo Ma’s story.
The whole graphic novel can be summed up by the world surreal. Surreal images, and more surreal story/stories makes this not for the casual reader of graphic novels. Things bleed into each other, I was unable to tell the characters apart, did character have flashbacks, or was each section its own thing? The metaphors and symbols of nature, city, culture, family, death and environmentalism is on a massive acid trip. This is a book for people who are a lot more sophisticated than me, or at least think they are. It is complicated and not for everyone. If you are into art and illustrations, this is interesting, but still not easy.
Perhaps if I had read it in the original language and not the English translation by R. Orion Martin I might have understood more (but since I only speak and read English that was/is not an option). My biggest issue comes from the fact that I was wondering if characters were overlapping, that maybe a younger (or older) version of Person X from one story was the main person in the storyline, or was I not picking up the story breaks and there were just parallel stories? At the very end you can see that there are separations to each story, and that helps make them flow easier, but not necessarily make anymore sense. I have at least one coworker who enjoyed this book, but I do wonder if it was because he thought he was supposed to or was actually getting something from it.