Graphic Novel Review: are you listening? by tillie walden.

are you listening? by tillie walden. First Second, 2019. 9781626727731. 306pp plus some process drawings in the back.

Any new graphic novel by Tillie Walden is a reason to celebrate, and I’m hurrying to finish my review of this one so that my daughter can read it next.

Bea seems to have run away from home (she’s eighteen, though, so she can leave if she wants to). In a mini-mart she runs into Lou, her mother’s friend, who is on a road trip of her own. Lou offers to drop her off in McKinney as long as she doesn’t try to steal her car again. (Apparently Bea thought about it years ago.) As they start to talk, it becomes clear that Bea doesn’t really have anywhere to go.

There’s a cat that they try to return to its home, a lot of conversations about their families, and some creepy dudes from the Office of Road Inquiry who seem to be following them (and the cat). There’s also a quiet bit of magic and maybe a monster. It feels like a low-key Miyazaki film about that road trip we all should have taken right on the edge of becoming an adult, or the one we should take when we’re having a mid-life moment.



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