This book is quite straightforward about the contents including dog deaths, and I thought I was okay enough to read through all that, given that it’s been over a month since my own brave little Carl passed away. But the combination of Nicole J. Georges’ emotive storytelling and my own fresher-than-I-thought grief conspired to have me sobbing through the entire sections dealing with the deaths of her dogs, one so rapidly following on the other.
Even with that devastating experience aside, I found myself incredibly engaged with this collection of confessional comics and zines. Ms Georges writes in a way that makes me feel invested in her on-going endeavors, whether in the oblique references to her love and family lives, her careers in both cartoons and teaching, or just in her everyday concerns with her emotional and physical fitness. Perhaps it’s her disarming honesty that has me feeling so sympathetic to a life quite different from my own (or at least my own as it is now.) Reading her book felt almost like being entrusted with her diary. And I do mean that literally: it felt like I was being bestowed a gift, of trust, of confidence, of friendship at a remove, with this book.
So it was nice to settle in and read what felt like letters written to me from a friend, catching me up on her latest goings-on. Well, “latest”. These comics run from the first decade of the 2000s to the present day, tho the Invincible Summer zine projects span the decade from 2008-2018. It would probably help to already be familiar with Ms Georges’ work before diving in, but I had no difficulty losing myself in her stream of consciousness, as if we were old friends catching up again after being apart for a long while. To be clear: I don’t feel like I actually know her. I’m just grateful to have been given a chance to know these snapshots of her at those particular points in time.