The Squirrel Mother

It is one of my big regrets that I never read Megan Kelso‘s Girlhero, which I first read about in a Sassy magazine article in 1994 (I hosted a copy of the article in the earlier incarnation of Comicsgirl. I think it was one of the very first “there are women who do comics” articles). I know that Kelso still sells issues 4-6 of Girlhero, but it wouldn’t be the same without the other three issues.

But The Squirrel Mother by Fantagraphics provide some solace. Whereas her previous collection, Queen of the Black Black dealt with the often messiness of sexuality and adulthood, The Squirrel Mother is a little quieter, tending to capture the often uncomfortable, intensely personal moments of adolescence (plus a great story about Alexander Hamiliton). Kelso’s simple lines are open and affectionate, with a cartoonish expressiveness that makes this stories poignant.

It’s a truly lovely collection of stories. It makes me look forward to next year’s Artichoke Tales. It can’t replace having read Girlhero, but I’ll take what I can get.

(I’m avoiding talking about Superman. I haven’t seen the movie and it’s not that I don’t want to, I’m just tired of all the analyzing and philosophizing about the character. It’s not just about Superman, but I think when I read this yesterday, I was just fed up. Wait, you mean comics — even superhero comics — deal with serious subjects??? No, really, are you sure about that?? I’m just a little bored by this sort of thing.)