Told with an endearing combination of empathy and humor, Mikael Ross’s The Thud is the story of Noel, a young boy with development disabilities who hears a sound—the thud of the title—and discovers his mother has fallen in the bathroom, hit her head and is in a coma. After his mother’s terrible injury, Noel’s secure and loving life with her is upended; he must leave his home and is sent to live in a group house that offers him new opportunities for friendship, relationships and personal growth. In this 7-page excerpt, Noel is comforted by a kindly nurse at the hospital. The Thud by Mikael Ross will be published by Fantagraphics in March.