You'll Never Know: A Graphic Memoir, Book I: “A Good and Decent Man”

C. Tyler, Author . Fantagraphics $24.99 (104p) ISBN 978-1-60699-144-2

In what is obviously a labor of love, Tyler tells the story of her father's time during WWII and her parents' early relationship, skillfully interweaving it with Tyler's own story. We see her as an adult artist and mother, creating the book even as she deals with tumult in her own life and marriage. This first volume in what will be a trilogy about her father's life, and her own, provides a moving, personal portrait of one member of what's become known as “the greatest generation.” Tyler's use of colored inks gives the line drawings an inviting depth of emotion, creating lush worlds of WWII, the house where Tyler raises her daughter and 1950s suburbs. The drawings speak with an even greater richness thanks to the evocative words that appear within and around them, commenting upon and adding to the action portrayed in the panels. An important contributor to independent comics since the 1980s, Tyler has made a name for herself with the quirky warmth of her autobiographical stories, and this wonderful book is a thoughtful work that greatly adds to the language of the graphic memoir. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/08/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
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