Gabriel Howell’s “Father” : Who’s Your Daddy?

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Defying description as non-chalantly as it does logic and reason, Chicago-based cartoonist Gabriel Howell’s physically impressive (heavy construction-type paper; perfect binding; French-folded, oversized pages) 2018 self-published comic Father is one of those works that bypasses the conscious mind and goes right for the id — with a fucking scalpel. It doesn’t “leave a mark” so much as it carves one in, and you’re not going to emerge out the other side the same person as when you opened it up.

If that description scares you, it probably should — this is a horror comic, after all, and while its surface-level terrors are easy enough to spot and fit roughly into the loose category of “biological horror,” its conceptual terrors are more oblique, more unsettling, and more likely to stay put in your newly-scarred mind. This is a book that gets its hooks in you — and then pulls on them…

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