Red Rock Baby Candy (Hardcover)
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Self-described as “an infertile, high-femme, low income, non-biological Jewish mom, dyke drama queen, and ectopic pregnancy survivor,” the author tells her story in this formally innovative graphic memoir.
Shira Spector literally paints a vivid portrait of the most eventful 10 years of her life, encompassing her tenacious struggle to get pregnant, the emotional turmoil of her father’s cancer diagnosis and eventual death, and her recollections of past relationships with her parents and her partner. Set in a kaleidoscope of Montreal and Toronto, Red Rock Baby Candy unfolds as one of the most formally inventive comics in the history of the medium. It begins in subtle, tonal shades of black ink, introduces color slowly over the next 50 pages until it explodes into a glorious full color palette. The irreverent characters begin to bloom and to live life fully, resurrecting the dead in order to map the geography among infertility, sexuality, choice, and mortality. The drawing is visceral, symbolic, and naturalistic. The visual storytelling eschews traditional comics panels in favor of a series of unique page compositions that convey both a stream of consciousness and the tactile reality of life, both the subjective impressions of the author at each moment of her life and the objective series of events that shape her narrative. It is the most formally revolutionary visual storytelling since Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing is Monsters.
About the Author
Shira Spector is a Jewish Canadian lesbian cartoonist whose work has been widely anthologized and exhibited in the Toronto area, where she resides. She has a BFA in Fibres (with Distinction) from Concordia University in Montreal.
Every page of this formally inventive, kaleidoscopic graphic memoir is a work of art in and of itself. ... [A] book that will change the literary landscape in 2021.
— O The Oprah Magazine
Stunningly beautiful and heartbreaking. Spector poetically expresses her grief while also lovingly portraying her marriage and the way it grounds her in the face of crisis.
— Booklist (starred review)
Using lithesome, intricate drawings and mixed-media collages, Spector debuts with a graphic memoir of desire and loss that expresses emotions viscerally and with a tactile immediacy.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Every page is striking and feels like its own work of art. Each screams with energy, pulsates with pain and portrays a deep and powerful story of a woman who is determined to find her way to the other side of grief — and who dares to feel some joy along the way.
— Xtra Magazine
There are so many styles, so many layers to both the art and the story. Open it up to any page and you’re met with an explosion of color, images, and words.
— Book Riot
Shira Spector’s deeply moving graphic memoir is about love and sorrow, and the wondrousness of being alive despite everything. The inventive combination of text and drawing works perfectly to draw the reader in.
— Roz Chast, Can’t We talk About Something More Pleasant?
Shira Spector has created an ecstatic book about a life lived deeply, fully, and with the extreme bravery we must all have if we want to truly love and be loved.
— Eleanor Davis, How To Be Happy
This wild, cluttered ride is beautiful and rhythmic in its orchestrated chaos. Swirls, shaky handwriting, and mixed media elements pull you into Spector’s pain and joy. … The messiness and complexities of Red Rock Baby Candy reflect the processes we undergo to understand and empower ourselves.
— CNMN Magazine
A chaotic, emotional, experimental nightmare that is also a daydream that is also a prayer. Bright colors, overlapping structures and ideas, a deliberate departure from the structure of graphic novels in order to convey a stream-of-consciousness that makes you work for the messages hidden in the tea leaves, and then devastates you by what you discover.
— Fresh Fruit Magazine
Spector takes over the entire page as her canvas to deploy an array of collage, paint, pen and ink, colored pencils, old photographs — even a multilayered sketch of a selfie taken in a mirror. It’s a creative process run imaginatively wild.
— The Woven Tale Press