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.

Translated by Helge Dascher.

“[Earthling is] a coming-of-age story that shimmers between the alien and the familiar, between feeling at home with those around you, and feeling hopelessly estranged . . . Franz crowds her pages full of panels, to convey what constrained lives these characters lead, and her drawings--all sketched out in pencil--look fittingly tentative, fragile, and easily effaced.” —Globe & Mail

“[Earthling is] full of dark humour, sex and hilarious snippets of perilous teenage life that you'll be glad are far, far behind you . . . Anyone you know who's into the witty, sarcastic humour of Daniel Clowes'Ghost World definitely needs to get their hands on this.” —It's Nice That

“This is a quiet book, but one with a lot to say . . . It warrants deep and repeated readings.” —Publishers Weekly

“The softness of Franz's pencil drawings telegraphs the quiet of these spaces, and her approach to moment-to-moment storytelling communicates some of the joy of movement . . . The overall feeling of melancholy this combination evokes is felt perfectly [inEarthling].” —Bookslut



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