Through the Quiet Through the Dark

Broken Pencil - - Zine Reviews -

Perzine, Ma­noela Martins, manoca­martins@gmail.com, $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)

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