Saturday 26 March 2011

Daddy's Girl: Comics by Debbie Drechsler

Published by Fantagraphics Books

Daddy's Girl is a comic book with a difference. Debbie Drechser uses mostly black and white illustrations to openly deal with the dark subject of abuse. Lily is a young girl who tries so hard to avoid her father's attentions though he seems inescapable and no-one seems willing or able to help her. Franny has moved to another school and seems to have problems fitting in. She struggles so hard to be liked and takes a path where the consequences are hard to bear.

This book was a little difficult for me to review. Firstly, nothing I can say about this book would do it justice. This is simply put, a masterpiece. The deeply disturbing subject matter of sexual abuse is brought to life with a startling brutality. It's impossible not to be impacted by the experiences within the pages. I have to admit that I am uncertain if the book would have had less impact if I were not a sexual abuse survivor myself but I find it hard to believe that anyone can pick up this book and not feel a strong reaction.

These days, there are constantly new abuse memoirs being released which is both a wonderful, and tragic thing. Tragic because no-one should ever have to live through such an ordeal but wonderful in that the authors feel able to write about it and bring this dreadful subject into the light a little more. What I like about this book especially, is that due to the comic book style, it holds a certain appeal that other books in this genre may lack. At the age of 18 or 19 when I first attempted to deal with the subject of sexual abuse, even as the avid reader I am, I could not have seen myself picking up an abuse memoir. This title would probably have made my reading list though.

It's a memorable, moving, bold, and - at times - emotionally challenging read that definitely rates a 5/5 from me. You can see example pages shared by Fantagraphics here

Author's website -

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