cover image Pretending Is Lying

Pretending Is Lying

Dominique Goblet. New York Review Comics, $24.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-68137-047-7

This beautifully rendered, emotionally intense, and chronologically scattered reminiscence essentially questions the veracity of all autobiography. In her English-language debut, Goblet, an acclaimed comics pioneer in her native Belgium, juxtaposes her relationships with her alcoholic blowhard father, her distant partner, her abusive mother, and her combative daughter in a kaleidoscope of relationships turned into tugs-of-war. (In a short afterword, Goblet’s partner, Guy Marc Hinant, gets to the heart of this supposedly autobiographical work, suggesting that his own appearance in Goblet’s book does not constitute an actual appearance by him, but by an “avatar” that inhabits Goblet’s fictionalized truth.) Goblet changes her art style throughout—sometimes employing almost amateurish line scrawls, other times rich, mysterious, hazy color washes, and just about any style in between—to create a vivid and puzzling representation of emotional memory and the ways the brain retells stories to yourself in order to help you bear them. (Feb.)