Eartha is Cathy Malkasian’s fourth graphic novel — a metaphorical fable that resonates with contemporary themes. For a thousand years the unfinished dreams from the City Across the Sea came to Echo Fjord to live out their lives. Sex fantasies, murder plots, wishful thinking, and all manner of secrets once found sanctuary in Echo Fjord. Emerging from the soil, they took bodily form and wandered the land, gently guided by the fjord folk who treasured their brief and wondrous lives. But recently, city dreams have stopped coming to Echo Fjord, and without their ethereal tourists the fjord folk suddenly feel lost. Has their ancient way of life ended for good? Has something happened to the city? Are all the dreamers gone? One of Echo Fjord’s inhabitants wants answers: The story’s eponymous protagonist Eartha wants to visit the City Across the Sea, but how will she get to a place no one’s gone to for a thousand years? The city isn’t on any map, or in anyone’s memory. Without thought or hesitation she ventures into the limitless waters, hoping to find the City and solve the mystery. Cathy Malkasian’s Eartha is an expansive tale of pastoral life, city corruption, greed, and addictions, and reverberates with questions plaguing us today, such as the alienating effects of hyper-connectivity and the self-destructive obsession with novelty. Malkasian’s drawing is notable for its rigorous draftsmanship, stunning landscapes and depictions of nature, the gestural nuances of her characters, and her sophisticated storytelling, all of which are on display in Eartha, making this the author’s lushest and most impressive graphic novel yet.
"Allegories are thick as fog in this gloriously imagined fantastical fable from Malkasian." — Publishers Weekly
"Malkasian creates beautiful and strange pictures." — Paste
"Eartha is an extended dream with a fixed moral compass, a story about the central and transformative power of believing in humanity, even when — especially when — it lets you down." — NPR Books
"Eartha is a fun journey, where the character development jumps out at you and the maze of interloping storylines leaves the reader grasping for more." — Graphic Policy
"Malkasian has cornered the market on gloomy, apocalyptic parables that don’t make you feel so great about humankind even as you melt in the presence of their beauty." — The Beat
"Watching Cathy Malkasian construct a world is a pleasant and gently surprising experience. The visual splendour and quizzical customs she dreams up to outfit the stomping grounds of Eartha, a genial giant who's embarked on a quest, share much of the verve of Pixar's weirder ideas, along with some of the darkness of Don Bluth's cartoons." — The Globe and Mail
"What works is the world Malkasian has created here: soft, swooping vistas seen from a variety of perspectives and frames as rich as the diverse and eccentric cast of characters, and epitomising the message of the small and local and true being truly the biggest things." — Broken Frontier