The Late Child and Other Animals

Fantagraphics

Dec 16, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Marguerite Van Cook's semi-autobiography The Late Child and Other Animals offers a stunningly beautiful glimpse of her life and how her early experiences and those of her mother shaped her. It's not the punk poet's first foray into graphic novels, but it is nevertheless a fresh and organic origin story enhanced by the soft watercolor art by James Romberger.

The Late Child begins with Van Cook's mother's experiences in Porstmouth, England during World War II. The title derives from Van Cook's birth due to her mother's affair, years after her husband died. A particularly moving scene illustrates her mother's case to a social welfare board on whether she would be fit to care for her child as a single mother. The panel of old white men is interchanged with giant crows picking at the woman like a worm in the soil. The imagery is powerful on its own merit, but it's merely one part of a story that is as poignant as it is charming. (www.fantagraphics.com)

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