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Library JournalWriter and illustrator Nilsen (Big Questions) collects the short comics composed in his sketchbook following the death of his partner and offers them as one volume here. While very personal, the work gives readers much to identify with in its authentic depiction of grieving. In one of the most powerful pieces, “Since You’ve Been Gone I Can Do Whatever I Want All the Time,” which consists of a series of captioned illustrations that frequently show the author crying while trying to get through mundane tasks, Nilsen amazes in his ability to bring about laughter from tears. Much of the artwork is minimalistic. In “Talking to the Dead,” two silhouettes, one living and one dead, have an imagined conversation frame after frame. As the living character acknowledges coming up with the dead one’s answers, the very powerful reading communicates the mourning creator behind the pen.
Verdict Poignant, engaging, and philosophical, Nilson’s graphic memoir documents loss and is a testament to grieving. Fans of graphic memoirs will find the creator’s use of surprise appealing.—Brian Looker, Appleton P.L., WI
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