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Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir Paperback – January 22, 2013
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Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? (2012) explored a lesbian cartoonist’s relationship with her mother, both in the past and in the present. Georges’ memoir may be broadly categorized as examining similar ground in the same format, but here the memories, the mother, and the cartoonist herself bring very different details to the work, and thus provide a very different tale. Georges’ quirky, big-faced, and evocative drawings, tempered by a variety of panel sizes, show the bespectacled author as she comes to terms with her mother’s lies to her as a child about her father being dead; her girlfriend’s impatience with the adult Georges’ tolerance for her mother’s intolerance; the clutch of dogs (and a chicken or three) and the stuffed animals who safeguard Georges’ sense of security in both youth and young adulthood; and the attraction Dr. Laura Schlessinger offers in her pat, specific directions for relief from the discomforts of uncertainty. An excellent graphic memoir offering engaging insights for those who share—or don’t share—any of Georges’ worries and traits. --Francisca Goldsmith
"Honest and charming...[Georges] makes her debut as a developed and skilled storyteller."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A bracing debut from a promising graphic novelist that deals with abuse, forgiveness, and family secrets."
"There's a depth to Georges' work...an intense interest in finding out not just who she is but what it means and why it matters."
A "tart, honest graphic memoir."
"A tragicomic graphic memoir with a stunning indie aesthetic."
“An engrossing, lovable, smart and ultimately poignant trip through a harrowing emotional bottleneck in family life. It's great art, great writing, a great story – I can't wait for what's next from Nicole. What a wonderful book.”
"Engaging...incisive...The author approaches [her story] with the tenacity of a detective."
"Nicole Georges spins a riveting family mystery. There's a powerful chemistry going on between her delicate drawings and the probing honesty of her investigations. CALLING DR. LAURA is disarming and haunting, hip and sweet, all at once."
"I wouldn't want to live in a world without Nicole! And now no one has to! This book is a charming little gem. An honest glimpse into the life of a self-employed, smart and witty Portland femme gay with an upbringing so weird it's normal."
"Anyone who knows Portland, OR. will know Nicole J. Georges, the witty girl with the cat glasses and a devoted following for her talents as an illustrator and zinester . . . Whatever the results, one can bet that this new work from Georges will be a good time."
-Lambda Literary, "Five New Queer Voices to Watch Out For"
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Calling Dr Laura is the raw and honest memoir of graphic artist Nicole J. Georges from her childhood to this day and her life in Portland Oregon. The novel focuses on her search for her natural father, her coming out of the closet as a queer, and the process of finding who she is as person. The book has a good deal of her childhood memories and family related issues, which are not adorned or sweetened, but presented in a very naive straight forward way. She could have demonized her mother for the whole story related to her natural father, but she does not so; she does not hide anything bad about her life, experiences or people she comes across, but she does not judge them and focus more on how she felt or feels. How difficult to do and how well done! The narrative alternates the present with episodes of her childhood. The parts about her childhood are really wonderful but also a bit sad.
The reading is very engaging. That is so because the book is well paced regarding the subjects presented and how they are presented, the U-turns that the author makes but still coming back to the main road, so to speak. The story is never bland or boring. Although the mystery in the novel is resolved in the epilogue, it lingers throughout the book without being overpowering.
I truly liked Georges' style and versatility. She uses different graphic languages and fonts to convey meaning and create atmosphere. Although most of the book is set in interiors, I loved her drawings of road and urban landscapes. The drawings of her childhood episodes, which are very simple and child-like, are just adorable, and very different from the more elaborate and arty drawing for the narration of Nicole's present. I think this is one of those books that would have been great having it in full colour, as the book cover's image is.
My favourite scenes are her story of her intestinal problems when she was a kid, the one of the boat when Radar dumps Nickie, and Nickie's fight with her mother in the car about she being a selfish brat. I also love the dog's language balloons she adds when she communicates with her dogs or they don't know what is happening - very cute.
Love to support LGBT artists. :)
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This being a non-fiction graphic novel about the author's life I found a lot in...Read more