Do you ever read graphic novels? I really love the experience — it almost feels like watching a movie. While reading the dialogue and text, you’ll also notice a woman’s eyes pop open in the night, or see a guy’s shoulders slump as he gets bad news. A bead of sweat on a forehead, a moon shining through a window, a zoom-in on a first kiss. It’s fascinating to read a story, while also observing it. This new one made my heart swell…
Passing for Human, a graphic memoir by Liana Finck, comes out today, and it’s achingly beautiful. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy a few months ago, and I’ve been sitting on my hands until I could write about it.
Finck, a New Yorker cartoonist, tells the story of her childhood, during which her mother was a frustrated architect in a male-dominated field; her father was a loving doctor wracked with guilt for having passed his mental struggles onto his daughter; and Finck dates, draws and tries to find her true self as she grows older and wiser.
All her life, Finck felt “weird” and wondered if there was something deeply wrong with her, and in the end, she works it out on the page. “I don’t draw because I love to draw,” she writes. “I don’t draw because I draw well. I draw because once I lost something, and by drawing, I will find it.”