Mother, Come Home, Paul Hornschemeier, Fantagraphics, Graphic Novel, 128 pages, May 5, 2009.
Synopsis: Mother, Come Home quietly studies the inner lives of recently widowed David and his 7-year-old son, Thomas; both are unable to deal with their grief directly. Thomas, protected by a lion’s mask that his mother gave him, constructs an identity for himself as “the groundskeeper”: ritual and routine, already important to children that age, become paramount to him. He struggles desperately to keep up appearances while his father, a professor of symbolic logic, becomes lost in abstractions. Father and son begin to retreat into their fantasies, but only one emerges.
My thoughts: If you have any interest in reading the graphic medium, this story is an essential one. Please be aware it is a dark subject, but this is what people have to experience at times. It is the story of a son and father who have lost their mother/wife. It is not a daring fight against evil, or the neighborhood kids whiling away summer days. The characters have been deeply changed, and are fighting to regain any parts of themselves they can still find.
While I am still learning more about the graphic novel medium, Mother, Come Home stood out among those I've read. The art style lands far closer to Will Eisner's command of the page, and draws you into the surreal, then stark world you accompany Thomas in. Hornschemeier uses an ornate, tragic palette, and attention to Thomas' focus. Through these the reader understands just how Thomas feels.
Death is a tragic event. It changes everyone it touches. Now, Thomas must survive. I highly recommend this story, because there are others who must survive.
My rating: 5 stars
Buy Mother, Come Home