Love: A Discovery in Comics

NBM. (Discovery in Comics). Jun. 2019. 128p. ISBN 9781681122106. $18.99. COMICS
De Heer (Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics) brings her funky, funny, slightly nerdy vision to graphic investigations of science, philosophy, and religion in this latest offering, here zeroing in on matters of the heart. Tying together philosophical categories of love (from agape to philia and everything in between), explorations of shifting social mores around relationships through the centuries, and her own romantic history from adolescence onward, de Heer takes us on a journey that’s both stream of consciousness and encyclopedic in presentation. Her comic avatar jumps from scene to scene like a goofy little cricket, bringing boundless energy to each observation. Finally, the author applies her research to an imaginary affair with a handsome actor, progressing through the seven-year itch, infatuation, discontent, and a return to her real-life partner. It’s a bit confusing, since she relates this fantasy as though it were her own story, but it’s effective—philosophy and cultural context only go so far in explaining love, it has to be lived.
VERDICT De Heer’s lighthearted but comprehensive touch on both micro-and macrovisions of love make this entry into the “Discovery” series a treat for almost any curious reader. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19, p. 38.]

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