“But here, everything is listening. The road, the cloud, the trees… they know all your secrets. Everything you’ve seen is built by you. Which is why you’ll never see it again.”
I honestly don’t know where to begin this review; I’ve been putting off writing it for a week. With every one of her books, Tillie Walden has raised my expectations. Her story-telling skills have exponentially increased, and I truly didn’t know how she was going to top On a Sunbeam. Yet somehow, she has blown me away yet again.
The art is, of course, fantastic. Tillie’s style has stayed consistent throughout all her published work, magical and creative and instantly recognizable. Her coloring is equally, if not more, incredible. And the lettering! Don’t even get me started on the lettering! I’d read a book full of just her speech bubbles and be enthralled the whole way through.
The gentle queerness of Are You Listening? and all of Tillie’s work holds and protects the story like sequential art Magic Shell. The mood is sweet, of course, but also unwaveringly true. Her characters have such certainty in them, such strong emotion and belief. The beauty in their relationships is also of note, their loyalty and connection evident from their first interaction.
Are You Listening? is a beautiful piece of magical realism, with enough mystery and heart to make it refreshingly profound as well as easily re-readable. I’d not only recommend it to fans of Walden’s previous work, but also to anyone looking for one of the most original graphic novels I’ve read in a long time.
For fans of: Texas, Road Trips, Ridiculous Talent
Review by: Ivy