Sunday, September 6, 2009

Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell

Teenage stepsiblings Ruth and Perry navigate their exceptionally troubled youth in this dark, troubling, and transcendent graphic novel. Powell captures the anguish of adolescence paired with mental illness in his shadowy panels and scratchy illustrations. You can hear the buzz of the insects that plague and obsess Ruth and the tension that builds as you wait for someone to put a name to her malady is delicate yet ruthless.

Swallow Me Whole won the 2009 Eisner award for Best New Graphic Novel and was the first graphic novel since Art Spiegelman's Maus (see previous post) to be nominated for the LA Times Book Prize.