Feast of Fields

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In the graphic memoir Feast of Fields, Sean Karemaker visually recounts the time his mother spent in a Dutch orphanage as a child. And while her story shapes and drives the plot, the subject really under consideration here is memory and its fallibility. Karemaker immediately introduces the visual metaphor that will persist throughout the book: literal holes in the visual landscape. And its this and Karemaker’s unusual visual composition that set Feast of Fields apart. It pushes aside the conventional storytelling format of graphic novels in which a story is told using distinct panels laid out in a linear order designed to make the images and text easily legible to the reader. Feast of Fields deliberately tests the boundaries of graphic novel-style storytelling by first doing away with distinct panels and then leaving some ambiguity in the order in which the images and text on the page should be read. Karemaker presses this boundary to its straining point but doesn’t break it. So the novel is readable and comprehensible while also putting a bit of pressure on the reader to reimagine how graphic novels are composed and understood. Feast of Fields creates feelings of emptiness and missingness, of coldness and loneliness, but allows warmth and love and connection to bubble through, emphasizing the feeling of remembered experience over the factual completeness. In this, Feast of Fields recalls many of the themes notably explored in Art Spiegelman’s Maus but goes even further in renovating the conventions of the graphic memoir. Strongly recommended as both an innovation in style and a genuinely affecting exploration of the human experience.

Reviewed By:

Author Sean Karemaker • Sean Karemaker, Illustrator
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 140 pages
Publisher Conundrum Press
Publish Date 2018-Jun-12
ISBN 9781772620252
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2018
Category Sequential Art


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