North Country - Shane White

It sometimes seems that the comics with the most emotional punch are written by cartoonists with miserable childhoods. There are very few comics I've come across (see True Story) that are about happy stories, but I've read plenty of comics about dysfunctional families. I suppose it's a reflection of Leo Tolstoy's quote: "All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

North Country is an autobiographical story which jumps back and forth from the present (Shane takes a trip to visit his family) to various memories from his past. He makes great use of varied color schemes and drawing styles throughout the book to put different lenses on the world. His dad is abusive and drinks too much, and Shane tries to withdraw from the world. There are moments of both beauty and tragedy; it's a biography told in a series of impressions and emotions, and it's really well done.

This story does end on a happier note, but it feels true and is certainly not a fairy-tale ending. ComicsLit, the imprint that published it, claims to offer "the most intelligent comics the world has to offer." North Country, at least, may fall into that category.

Fed to jonathan's brain | March 08, 2007 | Comments (0)


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