On sale date: December 20, 2014
In this graphic memoir, a World War II survivor/single mother has a child out of wedlock, and the law threatens to take her children away from her.
Hetty survives the bombing of Portsmouth by the Nazis in World War II, only to learn that her soldier husband has been killed on the way back home from North Africa. She must then complete the adoption of her young daughter June alone. A decade later, she gives birth to a bastard daughter, Marguerite. Now Hetty must go before a tribunal to prove that she will be a fit mother. What follows is the story of little Marguerite’s childhood in the recovering British naval port and the rural beauty of the Isle of Wight and in Normandy, France. The journeys and struggles over decades of this mother and daughter are linked in five episodes that veer between lyricism, wry wit, and harrowing suspense. The Late Child and Other Animals is an original graphic novel, a generational autobiography written by legendary punk diva and award-winning poet Marguerite Van Cook, adapted by artist James Romberger, the creator of the Eisner-nominated Post York. The team of Romberger and Van Cook is also responsible for the adaptation and art of 7 Miles a Second, their critically acclaimed graphic memoir collaboration with the late multimedia artist and AIDS activist, David Wojnarowicz.
2015 Ignatz Award Nominee: Outstanding Story ("Nature Lessons")
"The stories in The Late Child and Other Animals are beautiful haunts, the stories that were never told and have returned, fully alive and tense with implication. The stories are the intersection of a national history and the exquisitely drawn inner life of the late child herself, Marguerite. The world Van Cook and Romberger recreate is unsafe, unfolding, and shot through with joy." — Amy Benson (The Sparkling-Eyed Boy)
"The Late Child and Other Animals shares the features that made Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger's collaboration with David Wojnarowicz such a success: the lush color, the creative visual mapping of a psychic landscape. The hallmarks of this remarkable writer-artist team are intensified in this loose, often lovely, personal coming-of-age narrative, haunted by a dark undercurrent, that focuses on Van Cook and her mother." — Hillary Chute (Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists)
"Overwhelming, my first encounter with a graphic gathering of stories: I devoured them all in a huge gulp, from the detailed delights of fields and flowers to the fearsome tale of man and girl. Everything feels so very alive in these pages, words and colors and line!" — Mary Ann Caws (The Surrealist Look: An Erotics of Encounter, Surprised in Translation, and The Modern Art Cookbook)
"This breathtaking auto/biography traces the life path of a mother, and then her daughter, as it weaves together fragments of each woman's memories to form a careful mosaic. The images and accompanying text together reflect a unique and powerful lyricism, one that captures everything from the aftermath of a grisly, war-torn landscape to youthful friendship blossoming on the Coast of Normandy. Reading The Late Child and Other Animals, one experiences how poetic the graphic novel form can be, how memories rendered through sharp lines, soft watercolors, and penetrating narrative prose can immerse you in worlds far, far away." — Tahneer Oksman (Mourning the Family Album)
"In all, this is a quite extraordinary piece of work. It sweeps us flawlessly along from a hillside above Portsmouth burning in the Blitz to a Parisian café terrace at the end of the turbulent ’60s. Wonderfully conceived and skillfully executed, it holds its own both as literary and as graphic art. And for all its evident terrors, in the end it provides a simple and irrefutable affirmation of one girl’s ability to achieve freedom and equilibrium in a complex and quite ambivalent world." — Glenn Harcourt - Artillery
- 8.4" × 11.8"