A young artist reunites with her beloved cousin and his husband in the small town where they spent formative summers, unearthing pieces of the past and upending their lives.
In this debut graphic novel from Nova Scotian cartoonist Kyle Vingoe-Cram, a woman visits her estranged cousin in a town on the muddy banks of the Fundy coast, a magical place where they spent summers as children. Once tied at the hip, the two cousins, Andrea and Brendan, awkwardly reconnect over nostalgic hiking trips and retro video games. Meanwhile Brendan’s husband Michael works on the premiere of a new play at the local theatre. As he struggles with the play, he must also care for his mother, the renowned playwright, who is suffering from early dementia.
Pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling, Vingoe-Cram plays with the reliability of memory and the cascading effects of trauma through bursting geological panels and pools of negative space. Bubbling intrusive thoughts are cleverly written in pencil, contrasting with the pen used for dialogue—and highlighting the difference between our inner and outer lives. Told from interwoven perspectives, each with their own distinct graphic style, Kettle Harbour deftly moves back and forth in time to reveal glimmers of an uncomfortable shared past.
Kyle Vingoe-Cram is a cartoonist, writer and visual artist from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. They have been making comics since they were a child, and have always been fascinated by the potential of visual storytelling to create new avenues for literary exploration. They live in Ottawa with their husband and family. Kettle Harbour is their first novel.
"Kettle Harbour is a stunning debut. An acutely observed story of memory, love, trauma and grief. A story told with the painful tenderness, connection and raw power that we feel when we inhabit space and memories with those closest to our hearts. We are sure to see more from Kyle Vingoe-Cram, a well established artist in other mediums, but I hope it's more comics." —Kate Beaton, Ducks
"Vingoe-Cram proves a nuanced visual stylist, whether they’re creating organically shaped panels, drawn like rocks or leaves, to evoke different character perspectives, breaking into full color in a sequence where Michael’s mother’s play is staged, or skillfully capturing the bucolic Newfoundland coast. It adds up to a moody, immersive, and unpredictable tale." —Publisher's Weekly
"A powerful, painful debut that will entrance and entangle literary graphic novel lovers. It conjures a complicated history sure to haunt readers as dearly as it haunts its inhabitants." —Library Journal
"A vulnerable, visceral portrait of three queer young adults navigating love, family, and reemerging trauma while remaining authentic to their present selves." —Nyala Ali, Herizons Magazine
"Kettle Harbour is a layered rarity, both tender and true. I love it." —Daniel MacIvor