Through the Quiet Through the Dark
Perzine, Manoela Martins, [email protected], $5
Manoela Martins masters a gestural, evocative style of illustration to create incredible depth in both her visual art and her painful story of paternal abuse in Through the Quiet Through the Dark.
“How can I even begin to explain?,” asks Martins on the first page, and then she begins to try. She starts by chronicling everyday instances of anger, control, and physical and emotional abuse perpetrated by her father, then goes on to explore her growing knowledge of what is being done, and why. She puts words to the immense difficulty of being hurt by a member of the family, and learning that while there is an underlying reason, it does not lie with her to change things: “The worst part is, I loved you so much. I am afraid I love you still.” Martins captures not only the explosive physical pain of abuse, but also the creeping, unhinged, festering dark of the impact of emotional abuse. Her drawings are ashy and blurred, evoking an almost fantastic version of reality, and elevating her depiction of abuse to the level of terror experienced by a child who endures it, yet doesn’t understand it. (Nicole Partyka)