Friday, November 27, 2009

Something GREAT to read...coming soon to our store!!

Hi again everyone

A while time ago I met a lovely couple from Ottawa. His name is Eric Von Allan and hers is Sam. (He gets his full name printed because of the following) Eric had just finished working on an absolutely wonderful Graphic Novel "The Road To God Knows…" that I have been longing to see in print. Well it is finally happening due to their hard work and never quitting! The book is coming to Astro shortly and if you want to pre-order it just speak to us and we will be glad to reserve a copy for you.

Let me just say that the book is well written, sympathetic without being maudlin and the artwork absolutely fits. Now I don't do reviews well and usually end up rambling on so I took the liberty of copying the review below so you can get some idea of what the book is about. Please read on:


The Road To God Knows…

There are times when I have to get briefly self-absorbed and marvel at the fact that I get so many free comics in the mail, and the fact that so many of them are so incredible. Hell, Von is from Canada, it’s entirely possible that if I was just living my life without this website I would have never even heard of this comic, or so, so many others that are listed on this site. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving, please forgive my brief sentimentality. This is the story of a young girl in junior high school and her life with her schizophrenic mother. She (Marie) is thrust into the role of an adult far too early, having to essentially take care of her mother when she’s not hospitalized with her illness. Marie is also missing a few days of school in trying to cope with this life, and is confronted with teachers who seem determined to make an example out of her without any interest in what she’s actually going through. She does have a few bright spots in her life, as her best friend lives right across the street, her dad is at least occasionally around to help out (it’s never explained, but her parents are at least separated), and a wrestling show is finally coming to her hometown. Much of the book is spent with Marie trying desperately to have a normal life with her mother unwilling to tell what past trauma has put her into this state, while being unable to get past it and move on with her life. Von has an explanation of sorts on his website about why he wrote this book, and it turns out that he has personal experience in the matter. It shows with the conversations, which are about as real as you can get about schizophrenia, and with Marie clinging to the few things she can count on, like new Star Trek episodes and wrestling on TV. This is set around 1991, and I’m able to narrow that down so closely because Marie mentioned that the wrestling champ at the time was Savage. Yes, I am enough of a dork to remember when Macho Man was the champ. All told, this is a remarkably insightful and honest book. The helplessness of Marie’s friend to do her any real good, her dad being unable with work to be any kind of full-time father to Marie, her alienation from kids at school (and even the teachers), all of these things would be bad enough. Throw in a mother who may or may not harm herself or Marie at any moment and who is incapable of being any kind of authority figure in Marie’s life and well, I’m impressed. There are all kinds of ways that this comic could have gone wrong, and Von managed to cut through it all and make an outstanding graphic novel. It looks like he has at least another project in the works, and judging from the quality of this book I’d say he’s someone to keep an eye on in the future.

And Von was on the radio again today: in Ottawa... with more notice of this new book coming soon...


There's a dedicated website for the road to god knows... with quite a bit of support material. (I tried to make this link clickable but it did not carry. Just cut and paste to a browser). This site is actually meant for retailers but if you click on the interview you will see a lot more information about the book - done by Eric himself, as well as being able to see pages of artwork from the book.

Do remember that Christmas is coming and this would be a lovely gift item. It is sometimes a sad read but NOT a depressing one.

Happy reading everyone!