In this debut graphic novel from Nova Scotian cartoonist Kyle Vingoe-Cram, a woman visits her estranged cousin in a town on the muddy banks of the Fundy coast, a magical place where they spent summers as children. Once tied at the hip, the two cousins, Andrea and Brendan, awkwardly reconnect over nostalgic hiking trips and retro video games. Meanwhile Brendan’s husband Michael works on the premiere of a new play at the local theatre. As he struggles with the play, he must also care for his mother, the renowned playwright, who is suffering from early dementia.
Pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling, Vingoe-Cram plays with the reliability of memory and the cascading effects of trauma through bursting geological panels and pools of negative space. Bubbling intrusive thoughts are cleverly written in pencil, contrasting with the pen used for dialogue—and highlighting the difference between our inner and outer lives. Told from interwoven perspectives, each with their own distinct graphic style, Kettle Harbour deftly moves back and forth in time to reveal glimmers of an uncomfortable shared past.
From: Conundrum Press
Notes on This Title
This series focuses on a trio of characters, one of whom is a white gay man, and another of whom is a half-Japanese gay man. They are in an open relationship. There are descriptions of suicidal ideation. A supporting character is a woman in her 50s who is suffering from dementia, and who falls under the queer umbrella in terms of sexuality. Another supporting character is a gay man who seems to be of Middle Eastern descent.
“Vingoe-Cram proves a nuanced visual stylist, whether they’re creating organically shaped panels, drawn like rocks or leaves, to evoke different character perspectives, breaking into full color in a sequence where Michael’s mother’s play is staged, or skillfully capturing the bucolic Newfoundland coast. It adds up to a moody, immersive, and unpredictable tale.” (Source: Publishers Weekly)