Here by Richard McGuire


Originally published in: 2014

Abby and I both read this beautiful graphic novel recently. We tried to talk about it today but mostly to share this book you need to walk up to another person and make them look at it. It is so original and the illustrations so wonderful that it draws you in. So instead of a conversation we’re going to try a joint review.

What is it about? Here tells the story, almost entirely in pictures, of one house and all the stories that occur inside that house and on the site of that house past and future.

What made you pick it up/want to read it?
Abby – It was recommended to me because I was talking about how much I loved The Encyclopedia of Early Earth and I was told that if I don’t feel a strong need for narrative in graphic novels I’d probably love this.
Erica – I saw Abby with it and asked about it and she showed it to me. When I had a bit of a lull I spent 30 minutes paging through it and sharing all my favorite parts with her.

Our favorite parts:
Abby – I like the future. I like the way it contrasts with the scenes from prehistory. I like that there are parallels in every era. I also like the message that we are all temporary. My favorite part, though, is the imagination of the author.
Erica – Aside from the lovely illustration I also enjoyed the imagination. I like the span of time the author thought about and incorporated, especially, like Abby, the future. Abby has remarked repeatedly on the dust-to-dust concept of the book – a plot of land that becomes a house and then becomes a place where a house once stood. It really resonates. There is also a subplot of two American Indians trying to sneak some afternoon delight that is humorous.

Who is it good for?
Abby – People who don’t feel a strong need for narrative in graphic novels. Anyone who wants to be validated in their reluctance to read graphic novels because they’re too confusing.
Erica – But also, anyone who shies away from graphic novels because they are too intimidating and confusing.

Erica & Abby’s jointly agreed upon rating: four-shells

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