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Mother's Day Reading: Great Moms in Graphic Books

May 12, 2013 | Winona | Comments (0)

Happy Mother's Day! As a tribute to all moms everywhere, and for all you TCAF-goers out there, I offer you these great graphic narratives about mothers and motherhood:

 

The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom

The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom by Katherine ArnoldiIn this charming graphic memoir, Katherine Arnoldi shares her experience of becoming a mom at age 17 in a working class town, with little support from her family, and a determination to get a college education. Although the subject matter is serious and often heartbreaking - her pregnacy is the result of rape, she is abandoned by her sister and mother, and exploited in her workplace - the black and white illustrations are sweet and even cheerful, and her message is ultimately a positive one for teen moms everywhere.

 

The Amazing True Story of a Single Teenage Mom panel

 

Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama

Are You My Mother cover

Alison Bechdel's mother is an avid reader and amateur actor, but also a remote figure who is unhappily married to a closeted gay man, and who stops kissing her daughter good night at the age of seven. In this emotionally honest and visually captivating graphic memoir - the sequel to Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic - Bechdel draws on psychoanalytic ideas and literary works to explore her fraught relationship with her mother, as well as her own development as an artist.

 

 

Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel panel

 

Can of Worms

Can of Worms by Catherine Doherty

While looking through her parents' dresser drawer, Catherine Margeret Flaherty (a stand-in for author Catherine Doherty) discovers her own adoption papers. So begins her search for her birth mother, told here in a wordless graphic narrative that earned her a nomination for the 2001 Eisner Award for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition. 

 

 

Can of Worms panel

 

 

Mom's Cancer

Mom's Cancer by Brian Fies

 

Brian Fies' graphic memoir tells the story of his mother's life-altering cancer diagnosis and its effect on his mom as well as the entire family. Mom's Cancer was originally published online in serial format for which it won the 2005 Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic. 

 

Mom's Cancer panel

Mother, Come Home

Mother Come Home cover

 

This debut graphic novel tells the story of a father and son struggling to come to terms with the death of the family's mother. Told mostly from the perspective of the seven-year old son, this is a very sad story about grief, loss, and mental illness, very beautifully told. If you love Jimmy Corrigan or Wes Anderson, you are sure to be a fan of Paul Hornschemeier.

 

 

 

Mother, Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier


Tangles 

Tangles by Sarah LeavittIn simple black and white illustrations and clear, direct prose, Sarah Leavitt recounts the story of her mother's transformation from a sharp, outspoken, and vibrant woman to a forgetful and fearful shadow of her formal self, suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Tangles was nominated for the 2010 Writer's Trust Award, the first graphic narrative to be a finalist in that category.

 

Tangles panel

 

Zahra's Paradise 

Zahra's Paradise cover 

Zahra's Paradise is the fictionalized version of real-life events: a mother's determined search for her son, a young protestor who disappears following the 2009 elections in Iran. Originally published anonymously online, Zahra's Paradise was nominated for the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic. You can read an excerpt here.

 

 

Zahra's Paradise by Amir and Khalil


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