A finely wrought account of aliens and alienation in the suburb
The German cartoonist Aisha Franz's debut graphic novel details a few short days in the life of two sisters and their single mother. Set in a soulless suburb populated by block after block of identical row houses bordered by empty fields and an industrial no-man's-land, "Earthling" explores the loneliness of everyday life through these women's struggle to come to terms with what the world expects of them.
"Earthling" unveils a narrative rich with surrealist twists and turns, where the peas on the dinner plate and the ads on television can both literally and figuratively speak to the most private strife and deepest hopes in a person's life. As the sisters begin to come to terms with their sexuality, they are confronted by harsh realities and a world that has few escape routes for young women.
Drawn in deep gray pencil, the claustrophobia of Franz's crosshatching and smudging matches the tone of the book perfectly. "Earthling" is an atmospheric and haunting account of the inevitability of losing the dream worlds of childhood.