review: Displacement by Lucy Knisley

Ms. Knisley reveals part of a cruise she accompanied her Grandparents on in 2012. Sounds like a lovely time with relatives? Well, it isn’t entierly….

This is one of those things you have to read until the end to understand what drove the people behind it.
To be honest, at the beginning i was upset reading this comic. I have a Grandmother that got pushed into taking a trip abroad by a relative shortly after she had surgery performed on her and was still a bit weak on her feet, adding to all the other things that ailed her beforehand.
I’m aware that it takes two in this situation, it just felt like i was spying on a similar upsetting experience. I considered to quit reading the book, but deceided against it.

Ms. Knisley’s grandparents are clearly not entierly fit for such a vacation. I won’t go into detail, because it seems unfair to do so at this point, let’s just say age has caught up with them.
But Ms. Knisley handles all the situation with the utmost compassion and grace she can muster at the moment, a reoccuring feat that i deeply admire.
The chapters are ended by an excerpt from the book her Grandfather wrote about his experiences in World War II, which fit oddly well into the narative. They give the reader as well as Ms. Knisley a better understanding of her Grandfather.

The story is told in the tone that one associates with Ms. Kinsley’s work. It feels honest and thougtfull. Her art is very cartoonish, but it teases the readers brain to think about the things that aren’t in the frame or expand the small window of the part of her life we’re shown.

Now, this review put the comic in a bad light, but near the end, there is a single page that turned the whole thing around for me. A single short exchange of words that to say so much using so little.
Suddenly the whole comic gets enriched with deeper meaning, all the struggles seem worth the effort. The message to me seem to be. that altough age feasts on us over the years, if we have the right people in our lifes, they’ll become support limbs one can lean on.

Numbers….phew….3.7 out of 5.
If you haven’t found any joy in the work of Ms. Knisley before this, chances you won’t like Displacement are high. If you want to sample a bit if her work, look at her blog or get the predecessor to this book, An Age Of License.

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