With his clean, distinctive art style and poignant storytelling, up-and-coming indie comics sensation Paul Hornschemeier has earned comparisons to and accolades from today's top graphic novelists. Mother, Come Home is Hornschemeier's graphic novel debut-the quietly stunning tale of a father and son struggling, by varying degrees of escapism and fantasy, to come to terms with the death of the family's mother. The story seamlessly weaves through the surreal and the painfully factual, guided by the careful, somber colors and inventive pacing unique to Hornschmeier's storytelling. Mother, Come Home extracts almost tangible drama from the most tranquil of moments, making that which is unspoken in each panel easily audible, and almost uncomfortably experienced.
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Paul Hornschemeier lives in Chicago, IL, with his fiancée, Emily. He is the author of several graphic novels, including Mother, Come Home, Let Us Be Perfectly Clear, The Three Paradoxes, All and Sundry and Forlorn Funnies.From School Library Journal:
Adult/High School–Collecting two issues of Hornschemeier's "Forlorn Funnies" series, Mother, Come Home is a stand-alone retrospective tale of family tragedy told by Thomas Tennant, who lost his mother to cancer when he was seven. The story opens after her death, with his professor father struggling to maintain some sense of comfort and equilibrium for himself and his son. Thomas, occasionally donning a superhero cape and lion mask, fights to keep things together by cleaning up after his father, lying to the college when his dad misses yet another class, and tending his mother's garden. Needing more help than his son can provide, the father checks himself into residential care. Forced to move in with an uncle and aunt, Thomas copes by entering a bright, cartoonish fantasy world where everything is how he wants it. His fantasies drive the heart-wrenching climax when he "rescues" his father from the care center. The simplified forms and muted earth tones of the artwork alongside dark and serious themes create links to Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Pantheon, 2000), but Hornschemeier wields that rare gift of layered subtlety. Be it an almost imperceptible change in facial expressions or the slow death of a flower, he says significant, moving things in a few panels that would take pages to convey in a novel. But the book's greatest strength is the story itself and the lessons it offers for life, loss, and, most importantly, how to move on.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
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