cover image Safer Places

Safer Places

Kit Anderson. Avery Hill, $19.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-910395-77-6

Anderson (Weeds) whisks readers to the liminal space between daily life and fantasy in this tender collection of comics stories. By toying with color, panel boundaries, and layered narration, she explores themes including loss, anxiety, and connection with nature. Often gender-ambiguous characters lend the volume a queer undertone. In “The Basement,” a young child copes with a parent’s death by following their cat into a hidden realm of memories. A queer person’s depression manifests as red flowers blooming on their light blue skin in “Weeds.” The protagonist of “At the Seaside” finds solace from a mundane existence in the meditative world of a sleep app, only feeling truly alive as they slumber. Nestled between each chapter are interludes following a quirky wizard’s efforts to protect a forest, overlaid with a skeptical narrator’s commentary (“I just think he ain’t right”). Collectively, the stories leave readers feeling safe in Anderson’s hands, despite the heavy subject matter. Her soft drawing style, calming color palette, and willingness to step outside the boundaries of the comics form are inviting. Anderson proves a savvy guide to what it means to live and be seen in the world. (Apr.)