Title: A Child’s Life and Other Stories

Author: Phoebe Gloeckner

Context: Phoebe Gloeckner, in her graphic novel, A Child’s Life and Other Stories, shows both tremendous range and technical artistry from her brilliantly colored, lurid and sly posters for rock groups to her medical illustrations in text-book quality, in her signature comics. Her work not only presents disappointment, horror and isolation but also the transformative and revolutionary power of young women caught in circumstances with sexual abuse and drugs.

Synopsis: A Child’s Life and Other Stories is in its own right is a worthy entry to the canon of comics. Minnie Goetze, the stand-in character is used by the author to present story of abuse during adolescence, neglect and adult meandering with uncompromising clarity.

With the most inviting and refined lines she uses in the comics, the author switches up styles in the pages, constantly. He work evolves artistically and culminates in the investigation of murder of the girls and women with the use of dioramas and dolls, in Juarez in Mexico.

This is the author’s first graphic book presenting highly praised autobiographical accounts of the loss of innocence of a teenager girl through rape, drugs, sex and AIDS. Right from the onset, the explicit story about sex, drug and child abuse is very disturbing for the reader. Most readers are likely to chime, ‘A Child’s Life and Stories’, with their own lives.

Minnie lives with her vile and pretentious stepfather, her ineffectual mother and small sister. The stepfather finds women of his own age repulsive but has great appetite for younger girls. He damages Minnie with sexual and emotional abuse after which she gets into casual sex, drugs, falls into the hands of junkies who abuse and use her. Main themes of the book are bodily and psychological damage, violence and sex, which the author ends in medical illustrations.

Other works by the author:


2011 – “Autobiography: the process negates the term” Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels.

2014 –"Panel: Comics and Autobiography".

2014 –"Valiente and Arpía".

2015 –Author Guillermo Paxton: An Interview with "El Guëro de Juárez".

Children’s Books

1994 – Weird Things You Can Grow

1997 – Weird but True: A Cartoon Encyclopedia of Incredibly Strange Things

1998 – The Exploding Toilet and Other Tales Too Funny to Be True

1998 – The Chicken-Fried Rat: Tales Too Gross to Be True

1998 – The Baby-Sitter’s Nightmare: Tales Too Scary to Be True