Follow Me In is sort of a mixed bag for a comic book. It’s part travel journal and part autobiography. It is written from the perspective of a young artist traveling abroad with her boyfriend, and the art reflects that in it’s sketchbook feel and penciled colors. It touches on cultural appreciation and sensitivity, exploration, and struggle when a loved one suffers from addiction. The story follows Kat, an artist who has not found the will to draw in 5 years, and Richard, her boyfriend who struggles with alcohol addiction.
The book’s story isn’t a conventional one with the rise of climax and conflict resolution. It’s similar to an illustrated travel journal, but that doesn’t mean it’s uninteresting. Kat and Richard’s trip through Mexico is one of discovery for them, and the reader. We also get a bit of a history lesson along with some snapshots of the variety of cultures that make up Central America. The only fault I can give the story itself is there is no apparent conflict resolution, unless it went right over my head. It seems like Kat and Richard go their separate ways after the trip. Possibly because, despite all his promises to avoid alcohol, he fails. Kat deals with the guilt and anger I imagine most sober partners in such a relationship feel. She doesn’t want to tell him what to do, but the consequences of his actions anger her. At a pivotal point in the story she could say no which may have changed the entire course of their trip. She doesn’t, and I imagine that would cause a great deal of regret.
The art is what caught my eye first. It’s done like a sketchbook with colored pencils and rough graphite drawings. I’ve never seen another comic done quite like it and it lends itself perfectly to the story of a young woman traveling and sketching her way across a foreign country. Every so often the story panels are replaced with full page sketches of architecture or cultural iconography. It is a beautiful book.
Overall I think the book is worth taking a look at. It is an interesting read with some fantastic art. It may also appeal to people who are in a relationship with someone suffering from addiction. The book is coming out in hardcover September 24th from Avery Hill publishing, and pre-orders are available. Give it a look, there’s plenty of preview pages on the site.