For more information and previews of each book (or to order them individually), click the titles below.
Book 1: A Good and Decent Man
2010 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Writer/Artist — Non-Fiction (C. Tyler); Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (C. Tyler)
2009 Ignatz Award Nominee: Outstanding Artist, Outstanding Graphic Novel
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2009 — Comics
Selected one of the 5 Best Comics of 2009 by Ellen Abramowitz, President of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA)
#11, Best Comics (First Run or Definitively Collected) of 2009, The Comics Reporter
You’ll Never Know is the first graphic novel from C. Tyler (Late Bloomer) and sure to be one of the most acclaimed books of the year. It tells the story of the 50-something author’s relationship with her World War II veteran father, and how his war experience shaped her childhood and affected her relationships in adulthood. “You’ll Never Know” refers not only to the title of her parents’ courtship song from that era, but also to the many challenges the author encountered in uncovering the difficult and painful truths about her Dad’s service — challenges exacerbated by her own tumultuous family life.
You’ll Never Know is Tyler’s first first full-fledged graphic novel (after two volumes of short stories). Unlike many other graphic memoirs which have opted for simple, stylized drawings and limited color or black and white, You’ll Never Know makes full use of Tyler’s virtuosity as a cartoonist: stunningly rendered in detailed inks and subtle watercolors, it plunges the reader headlong into the diverse locales: her father’s wartime experiences and courtship, her own childhood and adolescence, and contemporary life. The unique landscape format, and the lush variety of design choices and rendering techniques, make perusing You’ll Never Know like reading a family album — but one with a strong, compelling, sharply told story.
You’ll Never Know’s release schedule and format emulate those of Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library: three beautifully designed, large-format hardcover volumes released annually to complete a trilogy of astonishing breadth, depth, and sensitivity.
Book 2: Collateral Damage
2011 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Reality-Based Work; Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art) — Carol Tyler
Finalist, 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Graphic Novels
2011 Ignatz Award Nominee: Outstanding Series
Ranked #3 on Douglas Wolk's Best Graphic Novels of 2010 at TIME.com – Techland
Ranked #4 on the Best Comics and Graphic Novels of 2010 by the Austin American-Statesman
Named one of "The Most Memorable Comics & Graphic Novels of 2010" by NPR's Glen Weldon
A "Notable Comic" in The Best American Comics 2011
The first volume of You’ll Never Know showed Carol’s initial, sometimes difficult attempts at grappling with her father Chuck’s traumatic World War II experiences by bringing them to light. As Book 2 begins, she is startled to discover that Chuck’s decision to suddenly, after 60 years, open up to her on the subject has motivations that go far beyond his desire to reveal his past — putting even more pressure on an already explosive relationship. In any event, Carol finally begins to delve into, and re-tell, Chuck’s horrific wartime experiences in Italy (which are worse than even she had imagined).
But back in the present, the cycle of family dysfunction continues as Carol’s own daughter runs into her own trouble, leading Carol into further exploration of her family’s buried traumas and sorrows — with an expanded reprinting of the out-of-print “The Hannah Story,” Tyler’s superb chronicle of the short life and accidental death of her older sister, a heart-rending story (named one of the “100 Best Comics of the 20th Century” in a Comics Journal survey) that in turn sheds light on her parents’ subsequent lives and patterns of behavior. Everything is connected, and the past is never just the past...
Book 3: Soldier's Heart
In one of the most eagerly-anticipated graphic novels of 2012, Soldier’s
Heart concludes the story of Carol Tyler and her delving into her father’s
war experiences in a way that is both surprising and devastating — and
rather than trying to summarize this episode and thus possibly spoil it for readers, we prefer to simply offer a selection of
comments on the first two installments of this autobiographical masterpiece.
Publishers Weekly: “(Starred Review) In the first volume of Tyler’s planned trilogy of graphic memoirs, she dug into the
eruptive, violent memories of her father’s WWII experiences while simultaneously dealing with a husband who decided
to go find himself and leave her with a daughter to raise. [Book Two] is no less rich and overwhelming. Tyler gets back
to the business of detailing her father’s war stories — difficult given that he is ‘one of those guys who closed it off and
never talked about it’ — as well as coming to terms with her already touchy parents’ increasingly ornery attitudes. Closing the circle somewhat is Tyler’s concern over her daughter’s troubled nature, which seems to mirror her own wild past.
While the language of Chicago-raised and Cincinnati-based Tyler has a winningly self-deprecating Midwestern spareness
to it, her art is a lavishly prepared kaleidoscope of watercolors and finely etched drawings, all composed to look like the
greatest family photo album of all time. The story’s honest self-revelations and humane evocations of family dramas are
tremendously moving. Tyler’s book could well leave readers simultaneously eager to see the third volume, but also nervous about the traumas, home front and war front, that it might contain.”
Booklist: “Tyler’s fluid, expressive linework, complemented by subtly overlaid watercolors, gives ideal visual expression
to a narrative that’s at once sensitive and hard-nosed... Decades of drawing mostly autobiographical stories have honed
her skills, enabling her to produce a work that ranks in quality with the graphic memoirs of Alison Bechdel (Fun Home)
and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).”