Are you my mother?
Dark Horse gives us a dour, broken world that somehow manages to craft love and light into a fun and deliberate story that’s perfect for anyone who picks up an issue. Set in an Orwellian/Lenin nightmare, young Veda’s mother is killed in the factory she works in while her daughter lies hidden, unknown to any other living soul. Much like staying in a store past closing, our little protagonist finds herself in a strange world of the afterhours life of the machines in the place she knows as her whole world. The machines take her in, and she finds that she can communicate in their own language, changing the shape of their world forever.
Samuel Teer has written a wonderful script that evokes the sense of Evening Primrose and a warped version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. How would a young girl survive in the cold and wretched heart of a factory floor after quitting time? Teer looks at the reality of it all more so than solving every need with some McGuffin, and the heart of the tale is as far from the idea of a heartless machine as you can possibly get. Each twist and turn reveals more and more of the world, and Veda’s scope of her life and responsibilities grows with it. My favorite part of this book is the machine language; Teer and team have made it an Emoji-based visual lingo, which lines up some wonderful moments of tenderness as well as buffoonery. One common “word” is given a truly delightful minor change late in the book, and it is indicative of the joy present in the writing of this story.
Hyeondo Park contributes his art to the story and does a phenomenal job in bringing everything to full and vibrant life. Teer and Park work very well together, with the visuals providing the sharp contrast of the soulless factory with those of Veda living and growing with a full heart. Park has a great sense of the interplay in this world and does a sensational job expressing it to us.
Packed with lessons on loyalty and family, this is a book that’s great for any young family to experience together, though anyone would really have a delightful time in the world contained herein. Hijinks alongside meaningful relationships entertain and educate in a great way.
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