cover image Geneviève Castrée: Complete Works, 1981-2016

Geneviève Castrée: Complete Works, 1981-2016

Geneviève Castrée, edited by Phil Elverum, trans. from the French by Phil Elverum and Aleshia Jensen. Drawn & Quarterly, $99.95 (562p) ISBN 978-1-77046-618-0

This lovingly produced comprehensive collection does justice to Castrée, a bold and brilliant talent who died of pancreatic cancer at age 35. Castrée got her start as a cartoonist through making minicomics in the Canadian zine scene of the 1990s, then moved on to indie comics, album art, and graphic novels, experimenting with letterpress, watercolor, and mixed media. Her pieces evoke dream and nightmare worlds in which wild women, hollow-eyed specters, and elegant animals—pandas, tigers, yeti—skulk through beautiful but menacing landscapes. Her raw, raunchy narratives recall the work of her friend and fellow French Canadian Julie Doucet, but Castrée defined her own spooky-cute folk art vibe. This volume, edited by her widower, the musician Elverum, brings together Castrée’s comics as well as illustrations, music fliers, ceramic art, masks, tarot cards, and page after page from her sketchbooks. The centerpiece is her graphic memoir Susceptible, in which she untangles her childhood as the daughter of an irresponsible young mom and a mostly absent dad. Other highlights include her early comics “Pamplemoussi” and “We’re Wolf,” her semi-autobiographical strip Ou, and A Bubble, a picture book she drew shortly before her death for her daughter, about mothering with terminal illness. Both newcomers and readers already in love with Castrée’s sui generis style will feel the vital force of her life and work. (Oct.)