The Fulcrum praises Susceptible

April Reviews

The Fulcrum    |    Max Szyc    |    April 4, 2013

4 / 5

QUEBEC CITY NATIVE Geneviève Castrée’s latest book, Susceptible, might appear to be a typical autobiographical graphic novel, as it covers all the norms of the genre, such as the trials and tribulations of teenage life. While its subject matter may be familiar, its strengths lie in Castrée’s ability to juxtapose polished, cartoonish art with emotionally raw excerpts of her life.

Chronicling the artist’s upbringing in Quebec from her birth until her 18th birthday, Susceptible manages to hit an emotional nerve that contemporary autobiographical classics like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Craig Thompson’s Blankets hit years ago. Despite its occasional humour, Castrée keeps Susceptible mostly serious as she details experiences that include living with her often-unruly mother, her rarely seen father, and her overall feelings of ostracization. Castrée develops a love for punk rock and becomes friends with a group of similar misfits, and also shocks the reader with harrowing experiences including brushes with suicide and an unwanted pregnancy.

Susceptible is a rarity in the comic world because it features mostly cursive text. While visually appealing, it can also be a strain on the eyes, especially on pages that are brimming with dialogue. Fortunately, the short length of about 80 pages means that these strained moments are few and far between. Susceptible does feel notably short, and its brevity will leave readers wanting more, but despite its text issues and length, it manages to be a brave work of art that will hopefully put Castrée on the map.

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