cover image Chasing Echoes

Chasing Echoes

Dan Goldman and George Schall. Life Drawn, $19.95 (152p) ISBN 978-1-64337-537-3

Charting the highs and lows of multigenerational dramedy, this graphic novel depicts one family’s search for their roots with cinematic grace and economy. At the center of the ensemble is Malka, the hot mess in a Jewish-American clan that includes goofy hipster cousin Dov, preppy-perfect vegan cousin Noah, and her Uncle Jack. Jack dreams of finding his father’s mill in Poland, but is reluctant to bring Malka and her drama along (he buys her a ticket in an Ambien-induced haze), despite the fact that she’s the unofficial family archivist. Jumping back and forth between 1930s Poland and the present day, Goldman (Shooting War) folds in creeping fascism in the U.S., neo-Nazi sentiments in Europe, and the question of whether the Japanese internment was a concentration camp without overcrowding the narrative or seeming (too) on the nose. With confident line work, savvy page layouts, and keen instincts for what to depict in close-up, cartoonist Schall is an ideal collaborator. Malka’s arc wraps up a bit too smugly, when she yells at a neo-Nazi who doesn’t speak English, which apparently empowers her to toss her antidepressants. But, like chicken fat in matzo balls, a little schmaltz never hurt anyone—so it is in this enjoyable, multidimensional misadventure. [em](Nov.) [/em]