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Mother, Come Home

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,350 ratings  ·  148 reviews
With his clean, distinctive art style and poignant storytelling, up-and-coming indie comics sensation Paul Hornschemeier has earned comparisons to and accolades from today's top graphic novelists. Mother, Come Home is Hornschemeier's graphic novel debut-the quietly stunning tale of a father and son struggling, by varying degrees of escapism and fantasy, to come to terms wi ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by Dark Horse Comics (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,858)
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i can't even get close to reviewing this book. ("well, who asked you to?," they sneer) i can't but i feel like i have to. i have been putting it off for a really long time now but i think i have to get it over with once and for all. this review done, i am going to wash my hands of all complicated human emotions because this week has been far too full of mourning and apprehension and second-guessing and worry. after this, i am pure cylon and you can all go to hell with your feelings.

after this r

This one disarmed me.

Today is beautiful outside. A little warm for my tastes, but this is the weather normal people like and they all go outside and do normal-people things. Personally I like a little gloominess, a little overcast skies, even some rain. It doesn't have to be cold, but I'm not a hot-weather kind of gal. I do not like to sweat. Or even glisten. I do not like to glisten.

But in honor of the nice weather, I took the longest walk known to man, and it was good. I went all over the
so i read this book because 1)it was a graphic novel and as of late, being a new mommy and all, graphic novels complement my short attention span very well. 2)i was familiar with this guy because of the whole jeffrey brown/holy consumption affiliation and figured it was about time to read something from him, especially because the drawings were just the right type for me when it came to graphic novels and 3)because i saw it on karen's list of books that made her cry and being the nosy me, i just ...more
The Crimson Fucker

I think the word depressive comes short to describe this comic thingy… is there a word that express more depression than well, depression??? Maybe There is a term among my people used to describe depressive songs... it translates to something like “wrist slitters” or something like that. but if there is an actual word for it please let me know so I can update this review! When I asked a friend to pick a short comic for me the other day I was expecting som
Sad and depressing, but beautiful at the same time.
Jul 02, 2011 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone.
Recommended to Lisa by: Readers' Advisory Group


I read a lot of comic books as a kid, but have not read many graphic novels as an adult because I generally find them unappealing. This book is so different from any book I have ever read. The pictures are an integral part of this story and bring meaning to the words.

In graphic novel form, this book tells the story of father and 7 year old son who have lost their wife/mom, mostly through the eyes of the son. Even though the pictures are kind of odd at times:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The pictures really captured my e
Maybe because I went into this read thinking, "Brace yourself, you're going to cry" that I never got to the point where I needed to. Yes, it's beautifully written book and a few times I choked up. There's the time where there's a shot of everyone sleeping in their separate beds at night. Another time when Thomas talks about the feel of his father's cordoroy jacket.

The kid was great, walking around in his lion mask. It reminded me of the kid in that movie A Perfect World. I loved that kid too.
I read someone's review that said not to read this book if you've lost someone or feel culpable in someone's death. To which I cry bullshit. As far as I'm concerned, this book belongs on that hallowed list of comics that are required reading for the entire human race.
Spike Dunn
Excellent. And completely depressing. After reading, I sat silently for fifteen minutes contemplating the impossibility of happiness. And then promptly watched “Animal Crackers,” as a rebuttal.
Living. Dying. Loss.
This is a Very Good Book.
Must continue crying, now.
What a gut punch of a book. There are few emotionally manipulative, emotionally draining works by indie white people, in the category of white-people-hating-stuff, that I feel are on the level of actual tragedy. As such, I was skeptical of "Mother, Come Home," but Paul Hornschemeier deftly transcends this category. Technically beautiful, this book is well worth your time if you can stomach depressingly sad works. Though the repetitive dream sequence at the beginning is slightly off-putting, the ...more
Seth Hahne
It has to be a hard decision for an author to begin a book with something that moves in the direction of North-by-North-Impenetrable. Especially when the rest of the book is engaging and enjoyable. And moreso when the author hopes to secure readers.
Mother, Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier

(Those who don't write to be read are more than welcome to make not just their introduction but their entire book a roadblock to diligent readers.)

Personally, I'm working on a novel and the first chapter is a bit... high concept. And therefore, a bit
Paul Hornschemeier writes a heart-breaking book. There's no getting around that. Nor, after reading "Mother, Come Home" is there really any desire to.

Death is one of life's inescapable parts, and this books deals with it on many different levels. I'm pretty sure this is autobiographical, seeing as that Paul's uncle (referenced and drawn at several points throughout the book) draws the introduction. It grants its reader a squirmingly intimate look at grief and loss through the eyes of a small boy
Here's what happened: I was at the library looking for Faith Erin Hicks, who writes delightful books that are very different from this one. But this book was alphabetically nearby, and so beautifully bound that I HAD to touch it. And then I had to pick it up and read the back.

The wife-and-mother of the story dies. I said, "Hell no, I'm not reading this!" I am a wife-and-mother and am not drawn to stories conjuring my surviving family mourning me.

Then I read the first page - like you do when yo
Bryce Holt
Jun 28, 2010 Bryce Holt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Read this whole book in about 1 1/2 hours. It was beautiful, tragic, and overall, perfect. I've never read another book like it, and recommend it to anyone and everyone, so long as they have not recently lost someone close to them. I think it would be too challenging if that were the case. What an incredibly heart-wrenching and moving piece...this is a literary endeavor, regardless of if it is a graphic novel or not. Best book of the year, so far, and what a surprise that this has not been laude ...more
Intense and incredibly sad story of the (fictionalized?) author's childhood, revolving around his and his father's reactions after the death of his mother.

Hornschemeier stunningly conveys the feeling of being a child in tragedy from the inside. Sometimes, probably even often, children are better survivors than adults. They don't know what the world is supposed to be like yet. So everything is new and therefore everything could be normal. That is (hopefully, obviously) not to say that childhood
Morgan Yew
Hornschemeier's use of textual overlays on top of speech bubbles to emphasize detachment from mundane reality when facing loss hit me deep. This invention alone created little 'Aha!' moments of love for the comic medium throughout my reading. Summing up this feeling in a few panels where another author might have laboured many pages was a relief.

The lack of preface or afterward on the source of this story prevented me from feeling too deeply. During the last third of the book I started to wish s
"Mother, Come Home" is a quiet, understated piece that packs a surprisingly powerful emotional punch. Seven-year-old Thomas must find ways to cope with not only the death of his mother, but with his father's ensuing nervous breakdown. Thomas appoints himself "groundskeeper" of his father's house and takes care of "the grounds" in an attempt to keep his father from further falling apart and to maintain an illusion of normalcy. Try as he might, Thomas is only seven, and things start to unravel.
Janis Winn
Mother, Come Home is Paul Hornschemeier's oft-overlooked but critically acknowledged work from 2003. Grief, mental illness, transcendence, and the nature of childhood are the themes that entwine in this fabulous tale told with beautiful language and even more beautiful artwork.
Cloie Kim
The book Mother, Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier is a classic book for anyone to read while dealing with loss. The story is magnificent aided by the wonderful artwork as a graphic novel. The perception of lonliness is easy to relate to. The way that the madness/trouble is portrayed makes it realistic and not just another story. Relative and lovely artwork, where the skill is clearly seen and felt. The way the whole book ties in together the pyschology of loss is smart and effective. However, the ...more
Not great. The story could have been tightened up a bit. The art could have definitely benefitted from more accurate rendering. The problems I have with the book are not due to the author's experimental bent, but rather from a technical, craftsman perspective.

The story content was fine, meaning I didn't have a problem with the suicide or the mental health hospitalization. But if this was fiction, there were plenty of opportunities to make these characters more likeable and more three-dimensiona
Gonzalo Oyanedel
Siempre impresiona hallar historias intensas en su honestidad. En el caso de "Madre, Vuelve a Casa", la ausencia que sucede a la muerte es abordada con tino por Hornschemeier, recogiendo las dificultades del niño Thomas y su padre para continuar sus vidas tras la muerte de su madre.

Una máscara de león y una capa de terciopelo rojo son las insignias con las que asume la guardia de todos aquellos sitios que solían frecuentar, mientras asiste al distanciamiento de un padre que irremediablemente se
I picked up this unique and brilliant work at the library on a whim. The best graphic novel I have read in quite some time.

It's me. I'm sure it's me.

I don't remember how this one ended up on my reading list, but I went into it totally cold, without any idea of the subject matter or style. At first, I thought it might be similar to Chris Ware, whose mixture of cuteness and cynicism is, I think, the most overrated thing in comix, ever.

But Hornschemeier's work here is much (MUCH) more honest and genuinely emotional. The art is lovely when it wants to be, and effective in all its various styles. As I read, my em
Unusual, gripping, dreamlike, emotionally evocative. Wholly unexpected and memorable.
Karine Bélanger
Je crois ne jamais avoir été autant déstabilisée par un ouvrage comme j'ai pu l'être lors de la lecture de Adieu, Maman. Et c'est tout à fait positif.

Les illustrations sont splendides, l'ambiance est lourde mais toutefois naïve par moment, le texte est magnifiquement bien écrit, très bien ressentit. Je n'ai que de bon mot pour ce graphic novel: il m'a laisser un gros noeud dans l'estomac, une impression jamais ressentit auparavant lors de lecture de quelconque ouvrage. Un noeud, encore une fois
Sam Quixote
"Mother, Come Home" is Paul Hornschemeier's first graphic novel. I've read two of his previous books "Let Us.." and "Paradoxes" which were interesting and enjoyable with shades of Clowes and Ware. It follows the breakdown of the family once the mother dies leaving the father and son shattered. The father seems hardest hit - he is unable to function properly and the 7 year old boy soon assumes the day to day running of the household and acts as secretary to his father. Soon it's found out that th ...more
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Intriguing graphic novel by Paul Hornschemeier. In short: on page one you'll learn to know "the son", whose mum dies, only a few pages later. And then the shit hits the fan, as they say, with his dad spiraling in, into a deep depression. Only the boy can really "save" him. Brave book about guilt and the genetics of guilt. The awe and respect one should really earn whilst aiding a loved one in need. Even when it might be his or her last journey. Such aid or journey should never be able to inflict ...more
I've been looking for a gripping, visceral book that deals with death and mourning for a while. After appearing on a graphic novel best-of list, this sounded promising, but I was disappointed. There are some interesting/intriguing moments here, especially in the surreal, detached opening scenes of the father floating around looking for his wife. Later sections felt inauthentic. Scenes between dad and the psychiatrist were over-the-top and unprofessional. They are a small part of the story, which ...more
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Paul Hornschemeier was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1977 and raised in nearby rural Georgetown, Ohio. As a child he liked to draw, dreaming that he might publish his own comic books one day. While majoring in philosophy and psychology at The Ohio State University, Hornschemeier was introduced to the graphic novel Ghost World by Daniel Clowes and began exploring underground and literary comics. He s ...more
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