In a plague-ravaged medieval city, survival is a harsher fate than death. As corpses accumulate around her, Agnès, a young widow possessed of supernatural strength, must weigh her obligations to the dead and dying against her desire to protect what little remains. Laid Waste is a graphic novella about love and kindness among vermin in the putrid miasma at the end of the world. As with her evocative debut book, Black is the Color, Julia Gfrörer’s delicate, gothic drawing style perfectly complements the period era of the book’s setting, bringing the lyricism and romanticism of her prose to the fore.
"Gfrörer sprinkles her work with moments of practicality that defy despair. Cows must be milked. Children who have already forgotten the deaths of their parents must be fed. Dogs will survive. Agnès will walk home again. Life will go on, and the best way to honour the dead is to keep on living. This is not a happy story, but in the end it is one of hope." — Sequentialist
"Her pages march along a steady, staid rhythm; her compositions are a cacophony of thin lines, scratchy and abrasively textured and her bodies often appear to converge or overlap one another. The result is this enigmatic narrative that is as challenging as it is cathartic." — Paste
"Gfrörer’s drawings are simple and elegant ... The black and white line work is beautifully scratchy, capturing the rough textures of [protagonist] Agnès’s life–handwoven fabrics, thatched roofs, and the soil of graves." — Publishers Weekly
"Gfrörer has established herself over a relatively short time as a masterful storyteller with a distinctive gothic style. I have followed her work with great admiration. She is following in the footsteps of a select group of cartoonists with similar sensibilities. Edward Gorey comes to mind. A contemporary for Gfrörer would be the equally bookish visionary, Kate Beaton." — Comics Grinder