Posts Tagged ‘Artichoke Tales’

Sympathy and Ambivalence: Artichoke Tales

Posted by on December 16th, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Megan Kelso’s first full-length graphic novel, Artichoke Tales, raises the stakes seen in her short stories and makes the relationships between three generations of characters one of simultaneous longing and resentment. The reserved nature of her characters masks seething and churning emotions that emerge in ways that aren’t necessarily healthy or rational. The reserve of her present-day characters is juxtaposed against the outsized behavior of historical figures whose story is told as a way of explaining present-day circumstances. This story is entirely about relationships, both familial and romantic. At the same time, it’s also about one’s relationship to one’s country, one’s religion, and one’s ethnicity, and the ways in which resorting to war to solve conflicts changes all of these relationships irrevocably. Make no mistake: this is not a book with an explicit anti-war message. Rather, it’s one that asks the reader to think about what war does to its participants, not the least of which are its soldiers.