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America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert
Careless Whiskers by Miranda James
Catstronauts: Digital Disaster by Drew Brockington
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty
Dehaunting by J.A. White
Family Tree, Volume 1: Sapling by Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester
For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black and Janina Edwards (narrator)
The Forest of Stars by Heather Kassner
Gargantis by Thomas Taylor
Kerry and the Knight of the Forest by Andi Watson
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Malamander by Thomas Taylor
A Man and His Cat, Volume 1 by Umi Sakurai
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher
The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Parachutes by Kelly Yang
Restaurant to Another World Volume 1 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami
River of Dreams by Jan Nash
Sandhill Cranes by Lynn M. Stone
School-Tripped by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyle
Some Enchanted Éclair by Bailey Cates and Amy Rubinate
Still Life by Louise Penny
Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper
Time for Bed, Fred! by Yasmeen Ismail
Valley of the Lost by Vicki Delany

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Family Tree, Volume 1: Sapling: 09/15/20

Family Tree, Volume 1: Sapling

Family Tree, Volume 1: Sapling by Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester is the start of a new horror comic series. The end of the world begins with the transformation of a girl into a tree. She's not the first in her family but she's the one would draws the attention of those looking for the signs.

A single mom with help from her father-in-law tries to get her eight year old daughter (the one who is transforming) and her son to safety. There are forces at play that the father-in-law understands but she refuses to listen. It's all too weird and things are happening all too fast.

For the reader, there is very little time to take in the world. It's a page or two of exposition before jumping right in. The pacing is similar to the first issue of Winnebago Graveyard by Steve Niles.

With the family as tree, or the literal manifestation of a family tree as family members becoming trees and being spiritually part of a larger tree, I'm reminded of an episode of Infinity Train. Season Two, episode two is "The Family Tree Car" and it's about the ongoing feud between two family trees. Each branch is a different individual. While the story is different, the imagery of the episode and the comic are very similar.

Like every other Jeff Lemire story I've read, Family Tree fits into the road narrative spectrum. As family is in the title, and it's about a woman being forced to reconcile with her estranged father-in-law, the traveler is the family (33). The destination is uhoria (CC), mostly shown through the scenes inside the tree. It's a look back at previous family members and a look forward to the impending apocalypse. The route is by way of the tree itself, the cornfield (FF). Thus the first volume can be summarized as a family traveling to uhoria via an internalized cornfield (33CCFF).

Four stars

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