Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Karrie Fransman's "The House That Groaned"

Karrie Fransman is one of the most enthusiastic and engaged comic-makers I've met here in the UK. Following her regular strips in the Guardian's G2 section and the Times, her debut graphic novel has emerged via Random House imprint Square Peg.

The loose linework, owing a greater debt to contemporary European art comics than anything published in the English language, will not be to everybody's taste, but perfectly supports the queasy tone of The House That Groaned. And the book is beautifully and imaginatively designed with a splendid die-cut cover.

A far cry from the slice-of-life work she did for newspapers, The House That Groaned is a bleak tale built around the interconnecting stories of a group of people living in a house divided into flats. Used to Karrie's more recent comics, I wasn't expecting the body horror, kaleidoscopic sexuality and magical realism it contains. Anyone who enjoyed the icy, anything-goes world of the early nineties Vertigo comics should enjoy the book's unbridled spirit.

You can read more about Karrie and The House That Groaned at her website.