A young artist reunites with her beloved cousin and his husband in the small town where they spent formative summers, unearthing pieces of the past and upending their lives.
In this debut graphic novel from Nova Scotian cartoonist Kyle Vingoe-Cram, a woman visits her estranged cousin in a town on the muddy banks of the Fundy coast, a magical place where they spent summers as children. Once tied at the hip, the two cousins, Andrea and Brendan, awkwardly reconnect over nostalgic hiking trips and retro video games. Meanwhile Brendan’s husband Michael works on the premiere of a new play at the local theatre. As he struggles with the play, he must also care for his mother, the renowned playwright, who is suffering from early dementia.
Pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling, Vingoe-Cram plays with the reliability of memory and the cascading effects of trauma through bursting geological panels and pools of negative space. Bubbling intrusive thoughts are cleverly written in pencil, contrasting with the pen used for dialogue–and highlighting the difference between our inner and outer lives. Told from interwoven perspectives, each with their own distinct graphic style, Kettle Harbour deftly moves back and forth in time to reveal glimmers of an uncomfortable shared past.