By Michael DeForge
A MYSTERIOUS, UNSETTLING PARABLE FROM ONE OF NORTH AMERICA’S MOST POPULAR CARTOONISTS
First Year Healthy purports to be the story of a young woman, recently released from the hospital after an outburst, and her burgeoning relationship with an odd, perhaps criminal Turkish immigrant. In a scant forty-five pages, working with a vibrant, otherworldly palette of magentas, yellows, and grays, Michael DeForge brings to life a world whose shifting realities are as treacherous as the thin ice its narrator walks on. First Year Healthy is all it appears to be and more: a parable about mental illness, a folktale about magical cats, and a bizarre, compelling story about relationships.
DeForge’s singular voice and vision have, in a few short years, rocketed his work to the apex of the contemporary comics canon. Ant Colony was his first book with Drawn & Quarterly: It appeared on The New York Times Graphic Bestseller List and was lauded by the Chicago Tribune, The Globe and Mail, and Harper’s Magazine. His effortless storytelling and eye for striking page design make each page of First Year Healthy a fascinating puzzle to be unraveled. First Year Healthy, knotty and mysterious, demands to be read and reread.