Allan, Von – The Road To God Knows…



The Road To God Knows…

There are times when I have to get briefly self-absorbed and marvel at the fact that I get so many free comics in the mail, and the fact that so many of them are so incredible. Hell, Von is from Canada, it’s entirely possible that if I was just living my life without this website I would have never even heard of this comic, or so, so many others that are listed on this site. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving, please forgive my brief sentimentality. This is the story of a young girl in junior high school and her life with her schizophrenic mother. She (Marie) is thrust into the role of an adult far too early, having to essentially take care of her mother when she’s not hospitalized with her illness. Marie is also missing a few days of school in trying to cope with this life, and is confronted with teachers who seem determined to make an example out of her without any interest in what she’s actually going through. She does have a few bright spots in her life, as her best friend lives right across the street, her dad is at least occasionally around to help out (it’s never explained, but her parents are at least separated), and a wrestling show is finally coming to her hometown. Much of the book is spent with Marie trying desperately to have a normal life with her mother unwilling to tell what past trauma has put her into this state, while being unable to get past it and move on with her life. Von has an explanation of sorts on his website about why he wrote this book, and it turns out that he has personal experience in the matter. It shows with the conversations, which are about as real as you can get about schizophrenia, and with Marie clinging to the few things she can count on, like new Star Trek episodes and wrestling on TV. This is set around 1991, and I’m able to narrow that down so closely because Marie mentioned that the wrestling champ at the time was Savage. Yes, I am enough of a dork to remember when Macho Man was the champ. All told, this is a remarkably insightful and honest book. The helplessness of Marie’s friend to do her any real good, her dad being unable with work to be any kind of full-time father to Marie, her alienation from kids at school (and even the teachers), all of these things would be bad enough. Throw in a mother who may or may not harm herself or Marie at any moment and who is incapable of being any kind of authority figure in Marie’s life and well, I’m impressed. There are all kinds of ways that this comic could have gone wrong, and Von managed to cut through it all and make an outstanding graphic novel. It looks like he has at least another project in the works, and judging from the quality of this book I’d say he’s someone to keep an eye on in the future. $12.95


Posted on April 27, 2010, in Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Allan, Von – The Road To God Knows….

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