by Kristen Baumgardner Caven
At last, the “Graphic Novelties” readers were teased with in Perfectly Revolting are all collected in one volume!
Includes the princess dream story, the Atomic Comic, martial arts advice, and of course the rare philosophical comic, The Reason She Left!
(Little Pig Productions, 2011) Bookshop | Indiebound | Amazon | Scribd
Comic books and philosophy don’t usually mix, but during her “drawn out” college career, wannabe philosopher Kristen Baumgardner Caven often used cartooning to medicate “the pain in her brain.” In her new collection of full-page works, she has danced around the edge of the autobiographical comic genre, and may have just opened up new territories in sequential art.
Seven short graphic stories exploring themes like the scientific process, eastern/western world views, humanism, existential crises, lit-crit, post-modernism, dualism, feminism, alcoholism, pop culture, dreams, and cosmic consciousness unfold in a journey of discovery around the centerpiece, a 30-page graphic novel called The Reason She Left. This quirky but powerful narrative of ideas follows a college student on a quest to find her own beliefs and identity as a woman with a brain and a heart that desperately want to unite. Each graphic story is introduced by a short personal essays in which the author shares her adventures with the craft, her life, and building a personal philosophy by understanding the ideas of others. The Reason She Left and Other Stories is the follow-up to Caven’s memoir, Perfectly Revolting: My Glamorous Cartooning Career.
The Reason She Left was made possible by Dr. Richard Gray at Mills College, with inspiration from and conversation with Barbara Roseman, the patience of Eric Sanford, and a lost dream of St. John’s College. The Olsens have nothing in common with my real family. A jam on Barthes, Borges, DeBeauvoir, Eco, Levi- Strauss, Joyce, Kafka, Kazantzakis, and of course, Christa Wolfe. Yes, that’s Shaquille O’Neal referenced in the intro.
Summary of The Reason She Left: