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This graphic novel for the 14 to adult crowd can only be likened to as if it was the set up to a plot of a classic Twilight Zone episode (with a few modern elements: the two main charters are lesbians and there is a modern plot point). There is much build up but then nothing happens until the end for traditional action. It is there we get the supernatural elements hitting and hitting hard! There are creepy shadow men. A cat that might be magic. And one trippy car chase that ends up who knows where! And even though Tillie Walden’s text and illustrations are surreal at times up to then, you have had a fairly normal story up until then: Girl runs away. Conveniently finds an older neighbor. And they are both what the other needed. It is when they find a stray cat that things go into the Fifth Dimension. — Jeanette
The graphic novel Are You Listening? is an intimate and emotionally soaring story about friendship, grief, and healing from Eisner Award winner Tillie Walden.
Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou.
This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront buried truths. The two women share their stories of loss and heartbreak—and a startling revelation about sexual assault—culminating in an exquisite example of human connection.
This magical realistic adventure from the celebrated comics creator of Spinning and On a Sunbeam will stay with readers long after the final gorgeously illustrated page.
“This latest by Walden uses heavily detailed illustrations and luminous, startling color to depict both surreal landscapes and subtle expressions, imbuing the story with equal parts paranoid tension and quiet wonder . . . A nuanced portrayal of the connection between Bea and Lou, nearly a decade apart in age but young and gay and navigating trauma and loss in rural Texas.” —Publishers Weekly
“Walden is up to her usual visual tricks in her latest, with intriguingly layered, intricately detailed images in rich, warm, sunset colors that lack concrete realism but cultivate powerful atmosphere . . . A moving story of recovery and resilience.” —Booklist
"Walden crafts a story rich in metaphor about two gay women on a journey through trauma and grief...A tsunami of emotions—sharp and heavy." —Kirkus
"The specialness of these two women and their journey suffuses every page thanks to Walden's busy, nervous, versatile pen." —NPR
“With its spectacular art and original storytelling, Are You Listening? is a profound and magical road trip through a surreal landscape with two characters—and one special cat—who will break your heart.” —Laura Ruby, author of National Book Award Finalist Bone Gap
On a Sunbeam:
“Tillie Walden is the future of comics.” —Brian K. Vaughan, Saga series and Paper Girls
“On a Sunbeam is a rare treat.” —Martha Wells, author of The Murderbot Diaries and The Books of the Raksura
“I couldn't put this down.” —Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice
“It was so easy to curl up in the art and lose myself in the story.” —Becky Chambers, author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Eisner Award winner
“[A] stark, gripping graphic novel memoir.” —Washington Post
“Engrossing.” —New York Times
“Intimate and compelling. A quiet powerhouse of a memoir.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A haunting and resonant coming-of-age story.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Deeply satisfying.” —Booklist, starred review