Late bloomer

artist: Carol Tyler
series: Late bloomer
publisher: Fantagraphics
publish date:
language: English
pages: 136: Hard Cover

This new book presents the biggest, richest and most delightful collection of Tyler's work to date featuring many new and previously unpublished works. In "Migrant Mother," Tyler tells the grueling story of a cross-country trip with the flu and her terrible-twos toddler using her trademark combination of rueful humor and empathy. The full-color "Just A Bad Seed" is a meditation on a problem child who might not be such a problem after all, while "The Return of Mrs. Kite" chronicles a family crisis — how her widowed grandmother fell in with a beau of questionable character. "Gone" (also in full color) is a stirring meditation on all kinds of loss, and "Why I'm A-gin' Southern Men" is a classic rant that dissects that particular breed of male — or at least a certain subspecies of "ex"es — with pitiless wit. Other stories include "Sweet Miss Lee" (a reminiscence of an immigrant roommate and her fate), "There's Something Wrong with a Perfect Lawn" (a tale of suburban obsessiveness), "Little Crosshatch Mind" (where artistic impulses come from), and "Uncovered Property" (discovering the power of sexuality at an early age). Tyler works equally well in delicately crisp black-and-white penstrokes and lushly watercolored paintings (this book features over 30 pages of her stunning full-color work). All told, the three-dozen stories here cement Tyler's reputation as a cartoonist to be reckoned with.

"This is one of my favorite books from the last five years... To say that Tyler provides a different perspective in terms of sex and class and generation from the majority of comics may be some of what makes her work different, but what makes it great is that she has a very funny, humane way of looking at the world, she's funny, and her comics pages are frequently beautiful." – The Comics Reporter

"Tyler created frustratingly few comics since the 1980s because she was a working mom, juggling jobs with raising a daughter. Parenthood here provides fodder for some of her best stories, though in one she carries a bucket of 'Relics from the Pre-baby Days' — 'creativity, solitude, focus, spontaneity,' and other lost pleasures." – Booklist, "Core Collection: Graphic Women"

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