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Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir Paperback – January 22, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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

Review

"Honest and charming...[Georges] makes her debut as a developed and skilled storyteller."
-Philadelphia Inquirer

"A charmer."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A bracing debut from a promising graphic novelist that deals with abuse, forgiveness, and family secrets."
-Daily Beast

"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."
-Oregonian

A "tart, honest graphic memoir."
-Slate

"A tragicomic graphic memoir with a stunning indie aesthetic."
-Bookslut

“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.”
-Rachel Maddow

"Engaging...incisive...The author approaches [her story] with the tenacity of a detective."
-Publishers Weekly

"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."
-Alison Bechdel

"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."
-Beth Ditto

"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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (January 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547615590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547615592
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joseph Dewey TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Length: 2:23 Mins
This story started out as a monthly zine, that has just recently been compiled into a graphic novel. I liked the honest, tell-all tone that this is written in. It's also a very interesting, engaging story. It reminded me a little of the graphic novel Marzi, since the story is extremely autobiographical, and jumps back and forth between present day and when she's a kid.

The artwork is interesting. I think you'll either love it or hate it, but it is in line with the tone of the book, so it's fitting.

The book also tackles a ton of topics and ends up bringing them all together well. I don't think I've seen a book coagulate this many themes in a cohesive way before. At the end of the book, I was very impressed.

I also felt that I got to know a real person pretty well by reading this book, which is something that a lot of books don't do.

Pros:
+Interesting, gritty, engaging story
+Very honest viewpoint. I don't know if the author was brutally honest, but the book certainly feels like it.
+Covers many ages or Nichole, from when she was a kid to probably a few years ago
+Takes place in Portland, and she's vegan, so if you're a fan of all things Portland, then get this book.

Cons:
-Artwork is kind of surreal, but you might like it
-If you're looking for light, happy reading, this isn't it
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I can't imagine too many Americans further removed from my own experience than a chicken-raising vegan lesbian comic-book artist/musician from Portland. Despite this reality (or maybe because of this) I could not put this book down. (Granted, it only took an hour or so to read so that may not be saying much!). It is basically a coming-of-age story, about how a twentysomething woman gradually decided to put her proverbial foot down by (1) finding out the truth about her father and (2) telling the truth about herself to her mother.
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Format: Paperback
I truly enjoyed this graphic novel memoir from Nicole J. Georges, who, along with such folks as Annie Murphy, Aron Nels Steinke, and Jesse Reklaw, represents to me what the vibrant, influential alternative comics scene of Portland, Oregon is all about. Georges's delicate portrait of family dysfunction and unraveling secrets is by turns wan, painful, and whimsical, and never less than involving. Her warm, fanciful drawings manage to alleviate some of often grim subject matter (her animal drawings are particularly rendered with a loving touch) but the book nevertheless packs a punch. As several readers have opined, this is indeed a good companion piece to Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, so don't you miss it.
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Format: Paperback
My cheesy title to this review does not even begin to explain how raw & beautiful this graphic memoir is. Nicole J. Georges writes openly & honestly about her childhood & the lies she grew up believing. She writes about her life now as a queer artist, musician, dog mom, & as a woman trying to find truths. I feel lucky she has allowed us to come along on this journey. It's funny & sad & tragic & uplifting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great memoir!

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so wonderful. It's intense and poignant while also being consistently funny in Georges' trademark whimsical style. I love her artistic vision and I also appreciate the graceful way she tells a pretty harrowing personal story. Could not put it down! Highly recommended!
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