Daddy’s Girl by Debbie Drechsler

Title: Daddy’s Girl

Author: Debbie Drechsler

Context: Daddy’s Girl is a powerful graphic novel that explores the life of Lily, an adolescent girl, who suffered sexual abuse. The novel is based on real-life experiences of the author herself. Her destroyed life is portrayed in childlike graphic style by the author Debbie Drechsler. The author shows that comics can be effectively used for discussing serious topics. Graphic drawings in the book are much more effective as compared to any written word in a book.

Synopsis: Lily’s childhood is perfectly depicted along with the happy moments within her horror life. In one of the chapters’ Lily and her friend, in the effort of running away from problems, contemplate suicide and walk towards the woods. Later on they sit in the woods, eat small wild strawberries in the last panel of the book indicating there is indeed a moment of hope for the girls.

The two girls suffer intense abuse at the hands of their fathers, which is presented in black-and-white heavy illustrations in the graphic novel reflecting efforts of the protagonists to retain the innocence of their childhood. The author’s harrowing sexual experience at her father’s hands is one of the toughest to read in the history of comics. A composed expressionist masterpiece has been created with absolute livid writing, by Drechsler by using thick-haired and wide-eyed and heavily spotted and dotted blacks in her compositions.

Michael Dougan and Richard Sala, her fellow cartoonists originally encouraged Debbie Drechsler to draw comics. The semi-autobiographical story, Daddy’s Girl dealt with a difficult subject like incest and rape and went on for a nomination in February 1999, for an Ignatz Award and also appeared in The Comics Journal’s ‘Top 100 Comics list’.

Other works by the author:

1992 – Twisted Sisters

2002 – The Summer of Love

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