I had the pleasure of getting a small preview of Miss Lasko-Gross'( Escape From Special, A Mess of Everything) new graphic novel Henni last spring at the Asbury Park Comic Con, when some images from the book were projected for the audience and the author performed a very gripping and emotional scene where central character Henni found herself in a situation where she was facing radical ideas of dissenters and art-makers outside the walls of her carefully controlled and organized compound-like society.
It reminded me again what radical ideas of personal freedom Miss Lasko-Gross always manages to work into her compositions, and why she's one of the most challenging cartoonists working today. Henni is a study of society and individualism in a very personal vein, and through exposing the reader to very simple truths, the book opens your ideas to the bizarre constraints and expectations we still allow in our lives as modern people. Miss Lasko-Gross challenges both the past and the future in her works. Her artwork is also so graceful and deeply emotive that you can't help but be caught up in the narrative and feel the stings of constraint and the dangers of freedom right along with her character.
Henni, which is being released by Z2 Comics, is described thus:
The mouse who peaks in the viper's pit is eaten Quiet obedience is the very source of our unity
These proverbs are meant to bring comfort and solace. But for Henni? Not so much.
In the original graphic novel Henni, Manhattan-based writer/artist Miss Lasko-Gross presents the adventures and trials of Henni, a rebellious and curious young woman who questions authority, challenges the ways of her strict religion and strikes out on her own in search of a better life.
The boutique graphic novel publisher Z2 will publish Henni (on January 6, 2015 in comic stores and in bookstores on January 20) introducing readers to a unique and distinctive character–and a creative vision that channels Maurice Sendak and Lynda Barry.
Henni embarks on what Lakso-Gross calls "a rare adventure story where violence isn't the method to resolution and success. This is a fable about faith where faith–or a new system of spirituality–doesn't solve the world's problems." Henni is a coming of age tale that, like the main character, refuses easy answers.
Here's our preview of this significant new work:
You can find pre-order information for Henni through Z2 Comics at the following link. Henni will also be reaching comic stores on January 6th and bookstores January 20th.
About Z2 Comics:
Z2 Comics (formerly Zip Comix) is a purveyor of fine graphic novels. Based in NYC, the company was founded by Josh Frankel in 2009. Z2's focus is eclectic, publishing genre works that feature fine storytelling and great production. Z2 released Harvey Pekar's Cleveland in 2012 which gained two Eisner Award nominations for artist Joseph Remnant. Also Z2 released Paul Pope's Escapo and Dean Haspiel's Fear My Dear in 2014.
Look out for our upcoming interview with Miss Lasko-Gross about Henni here on Bleeding Cool.