Comic-A-Week – Jan 9-15 – Mother, Come Home

After Thomas’s mother dies, his father suffers from survivor guilt and depression.  He is hospitalized and this comic tells that story from Thomas’s eyes as a child.  I’ve read a lot of comics like this lately and I haven’t reviewed any of them because I so often find myself at a loss of words to describe anything about them.  Not how they made me feel or if I enjoyed reading them.

Honestly, I sometimes feel myself close off to comics like this.  The structure was so strange, it never allowed me to get involved in the story.  I wanted to care about Thomas and his father’s story, but I couldn’t. Overall, I thought the art here suited the mood perfectly, but the story was sometimes confusing, perhaps intentionally to illustrate grief and depression.  And the ending?  The ending was just strange when you compared it to the rest of the book, to be honest.

Though I didn’t want to talk about this because it’s unfair to compare, it’s really hard to ignore Chris Ware’s influences on Mother,  Come Home.  I just like Ware’s work much more.  They are different beasts in terms of storytelling – Ware’s most famous graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Kid on Earth is huge and this is a slim book that covers a tenth of that space.  All the same, if you are interested in the art, I’d recommend Chris Ware over this one.

In any case, if you are an avid reader of comics, Mother, Come  Home should be on your list to read.  But be prepared, it’s a difficult one and one that doesn’t ultimately live up to its promises.

So go read this!: now | tomorrow | next week | next month | next year | when you’ve exhausted your TBR pile

Jenny’s Books also has a post about Mother, Come Home. Do you?  Leave a link in the comments and I’ll add it to this list.

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7 thoughts on “Comic-A-Week – Jan 9-15 – Mother, Come Home

  1. I might be totally wrong about this, but I think that this is one of Paul Hornscheimer’s earlier books. I haven’t read it, but I really liked his The Three Paradoxes (which kinda sounds like a more…maturely executed version of this book). But yeah, there are definite similarities to Chris Ware from what I’ve seen of his art, but I think he really comes into his own in the stuff of his I’ve read. -shrug- The whole Really Personal Comic thing seems like a precarious route to take, especially since (as you said) so many people are doing it.

  2. I can now no longer remember what happened in this book that made me so mad at it. The father did something to piss me off, I know — I still feel cross with him for being such an irresponsible parent. But yeah, I agree this didn’t live up to my expectations.

  3. Hmmm. I saw this one at the library, but passed on it because I didn’t have a clear idea of what it was about. Sounds like you had much the same experience as I did with CHANCE IN HELL by Gilbert Hernandez. I wanted to connect with it, but I felt like the very things Hernandez did to communicate his protagonist’s emotional state shut me out of the story. I might give this one a try if i happen to see it again, but it won’t be high up on my list.

  4. I blatantly stole your idea for a comic a week >> Hope you don’t mind!!! I actually skipped this review because I have it on my shelves to read, but just wanted to say that I’m really excited about reading it. I did read your last sentence though and am sad to hear that it didn’t live up to what you hoped for 😦

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