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