My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Gingerbread Girl. I’d seen a few pages of it before and always meant to read this. I was, I admit, heavily attracted by the Vertigo-esque cover design. I remembered Gingerbread Girl existed when I saw that there’d been a review posted on Twitter by the excellent @sarangacomics. I love these moments where a book (and somewhat appropriately for this one) lurks in your head and you can’t forget it. The moment I read the review, I remembered the dreamy richness of those preview pages and I went back to it.
Gingerbread Girl is beautiful. It’s odd, elegiac and incredibly moving towards the end. Narrated by a shifting pattern of characters, it tells the story of Annah who believes she has a sister. However simple a statement this may seem, you swiftly come to realise that it’s not. Not in the slightest. Gingerbread Girl tells the story of the fluid, mad and heartbreakingly lovely life of Annah and those who love / live / interact with her.
The art is warm, sensual and deceptively simple. It’s drawn in a very matter-of-fact style that is, when the narrative demands it, very archly aware of the fact that it’s a comic book. There’s some lovely notes of metatextuality in it that are particularly welcome and cleverly handled.
I’m still a little teary from reading this. Such a mad little unexpected gem of a book.