cover image Red Winter

Red Winter

Anneli Furmark, translated from the Swedish by Hana Stromberg. Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 (168p) ISBN 978-1-77046-306-6

Telling a love story set in the midst of a 1970s Swedish winter, Furmark (The Mazes and Other Stories) captures both how fundamentally simple and irreparably complicated human relationships can be. The story shifts focus from one character to the next as it explores how Siv, a social democrat and married mother of three, falls for a Maoist named Ulrik who has come to northern Sweden to mobilize sympathy for his group’s platform at the local steelworker’s union. Both of them want something very similar and, at once, altogether different from each other. As the narrative perspective glides from Siv to her daughter, Marita, then to Ulrik and other principal characters, the complexity of the relationship deepens. Furmark’s palette is an emotive canvas of complementary colors, with the blues showing the beautiful but bleak cold of the northern landscape and oranges reserved for warmth generated by love, simple friendship, and the spark of human connection. Furmark’s success in this graphic novel is in making readers care, on some level, about everyone who wanders in and out of her splendid panels. [em](Jan.) [/em]