A Fade of Light

West Margin. Oct. 2022. 232p. ISBN 9781513134994. pap. $19.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Fakes recounts his relationship with his stepfather Ron, a zany, affable guy who comes into his life when Fakes is in adolescence. A relationship that could easily be fraught with teenage tension instead but instead feels full of mutual affection. But as Fakes grows up, stumbling toward his calling as a cartoonist, his stepfather’s positivity begins to veer towards delusion. Ron invests in dicey schemes and has bouts of inexplicable belligerency. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder seems to address the problem, but the central tension of the book lies in the reader’s knowledge that Ron has a form of frontotemporal dementia that goes undiagnosed through most of his cognitive struggles. Fakes’s recounting of his experience with Ron is tender but told at arm’s length—he reports their interactions sequentially, refraining from interrogating the greater breadth of Ron’s life or personal struggles beyond his own experience with him. Fakes’s style as a syndicated newspaper cartoonist is reflected in his art, which is accessible, lighthearted, and somewhat static.
VERDICT A capable slice-of-life memoir, this captures the denial, frustration, and despair of observing a loved one’s fading away.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing