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THIS IS HOW I DISAPPEAR

By Mirion Malle

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(Drawn and Quarterly) 

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The graphic novel This Is How I Disappear revolves around Clara, a millennial in Montreal struggling with a recent breakup, a boss who expects full-time hours for part-time pay, and a book of poetry inspired by her breakup that she is under contract to finish writing. While her sadness is initially credited to her heartbreak, it expands into a void of numbing emptiness that leaves her increasingly disengaged from life. Haunted by the pain of a past sexual assault, Clara tries to move forward while leaning on her friends to keep her away from suicidal thoughts.

Author Mirion Malle’s depiction of Clara’s all-consuming depression, both through her drawings and her writing, has the ring of authenticity only someone who has experienced it could create. Her minimalist black and white images compellingly portray the weight of her character’s agony and allows the reader to experience her pain. Through Clara, Malle creates a moving portrait of a young woman trying to heal from sexual trauma. Even in the depths of inner turmoil, Clara shows how there can be light in darkness through the love and support of her friends. –adrienne urbanski

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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