“Comics Worth Reading” reviews Hereville

On February 3, 2011 · Comments Off

At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson reviews Hereville, and also declares it one of the best comics of 2010. Woo!

The characters are simple, dot eyes and line noses, but always in motion, always expressing something with their arms and faces. Deutsch’s work is a little stiff when it comes to the most active sequences — when one person chases another early on, they look like they’re speed-walking instead of running after each other — but the real meat of the story is in moments, often conversational.

The story-telling is simple and straightforward, so as not to get in the way of the reader taking in the details of Mirka’s life and dreams. (Although at various important moments, the panel grid changes to highlight the mood or emphasize particular visuals.) The challenge comes in the language, with Yiddish words used frequently and translated at the bottom of the page. It adds to the fable-like feeling, with words unfamiliar to many readers providing an exotic overlay.

I’m still a bit uncomfortable with aspects of Mirka’s life — the way the kids are separated boys and girls at school, the importance of the family reputation so the girls’ parents can find them a good husband — but in personality, she’s full of imagination and she’s fearless. She stands up to bullies, even if she has to hide her actions from those who think it’s not suitable for a girl to do. I hope those qualities aren’t drummed out of her as she grows older. That we see women with strong minds who value intelligence (of all kinds) gives hope.

Read the whole review here. Thanks, Johanna!


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