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H Day

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  94 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Renee French, an acclaimed graphic novelist and Inkpot Award winner at San Diego's Comic-Con International, has entranced legions of fans with her twisted, highly inventive pencil drawings, whose agile lines and delicate shading open up strange imaginary vistas. She's been called an inimitable and masterful stylist, a kind of Edward Gorey who draws out the whimsical side o ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published October 31st 2010 by Picturebox, Inc. (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nate D
Dec 29, 2013 Nate D marked it as read-in-2013
Shelves: comics
Eerie, vague with unease, quietly discomfiting. Unpleasant sensations conveyed with a soft, graceful discomfort. Should probably be stared into for many further hours to more fully absorb its suffusing suffocating feel.
David Schaafsma
Nov 12, 2015 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
A poetic memoir about French's struggles with migraines and argentine ant infestation (yes, you read that right, partner!), with often scary and sort of dark and brooding and at the same time delicate pencil drawings. There are two sorts of stories told in stages of pain and suffering and finally, a modicum of relief. It's not clear and doesn't have to be, I guess, about how the stories actually interact with each other, but in short, they are not fun to go through for her.

Stephen King ain't go
...more
Jamie
Aug 27, 2010 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphicnovels
Coming out of any Renee French book is a process. As a reader, you have to re-emerge from her mindscape and slowly find your way back to lucidity. Jump out too fast, and you might get the bends.

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Renee's work. Editing her early career retrospective Marbles in My Underpants was the fuzziest of pet projects for me. That book marked the end of a certain phase of her career, and since then, I've been able to watch and read as a fan as Renee's cartooning has continued t
...more
Jeff Jackson
This seemingly simple tale of migraines and ant invasions turns out to be impossible to absorb in one read. Parts of it reminded me of "Driven by Lemons" -- the scrambled mad logic seemingly at work beneath the pages themselves -- while some of the beautifully drafted cityscapes were reminiscent of Shaun Tan's "The Arrival." The narrative seemed teasingly close to coming together at points, but then my interpretation would dissolve like the charcoal lines on the opposite page.
Nicola Mansfield
Dec 25, 2013 Nicola Mansfield rated it liked it
I love Renee French's disturbing, somewhat macabre illustration and storytelling, but I am not going to even pretend I understand what this book is about! The back of the book tells me that the author is telling an autobiographical story that "illustrates her struggles with migraine headaches and Argentine ant infestation". OK. This is a wordless art book with a sense of oppression hanging over the whole thing. The left-hand pages show, through imagery, a man suffering from a migraine. I suffer ...more
Allie
This is definitely an odd book. Renee French illustrates sort of an impression of a migraine headache. One the left side of the page is a figure in various stages of being overtaken by a blob. On the right is a loose narrative taking place in a giant blocky city. French creates an incredibly surreal universe (as usual) and you are left to your own devices to navigate and interpret.

I first read an excerpt from this in The Best American Comics 2012, and it was one of the few that really jumped out
...more
Josephus FromPlacitas
Too capital-A Arty for my tastes, but clearly a serious work of art. Without the back jacket of the book telling me what I was looking at (an impressionistic account of suffering through migraines and an Argentine ant infestation), it would have meant almost nothing to me. All I would have seen was creepy, generally interesting-to-look-at art about a faceless character with a massive head malady, with images of a dog in a grey doomscape being tortured and made miserable by ants, constricting ban ...more
Chris
Nov 11, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing
This is not a pleasant read, but is brilliant and disturbing and that describes French’s body of work. Why would you want to read an unpleasant, claustrophobic book that you feel as trapped in as that dark wisp of fog? Because Renee French created it and it and the creature (can art be a creature?) grabs you by the forehead and squeezes until you wish you could pop and want to ride this bed tossing train of misery—French is just that good. If you loved Renee’s the Ticking then run out and buy th ...more
Sofie Brånedal
Nov 20, 2015 Sofie Brånedal rated it really liked it
The story about headache were amazing! So many details. So inspirational. So creative. No words were needed. The antinvasion however... I did not get that story at all. That one could have become so much better by adding words to it, or something more to explain what was going on and how it were related to the headache. I did not understand what they had incommon. Something about a bed, that was obvious in two last pictures, but what exactly I do not know. So that sadly brought down the rating t ...more
Tom
Nov 04, 2010 Tom rated it it was amazing
With "Eraserhead"-like mystery, ambiguity, and unease, "H Day" is a dreamlike graphic novel consisting of two parallel stories on facing pages. (Or are they separate stories that only seem parallel because of occasional use of elements in the facing pictures that appear roughly analogous to each other?) The only improvement that could be made in the presentation of the story would be to print it on vellum--the medium French draws on--to better bring out the texture of the smudges, pencil lines, ...more
Helen
Mar 23, 2015 Helen rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Beautiful sketches and drawings. Vaguely unsettling and haunting.
Russell Grant
I like French's work, but this is a bunch of bullshit. The back and sales description states it's a tense narration on her struggles with migraines and an ant infestation. There's no narrative or story to be found here, instead it's a couple hundred pages of art work that's more in line with a gallery show of a series of works then a comic book. Which is fine since the artwork is her usual top notch standard, it's just disappointing when you expect a graphic novel from such a talented story tell ...more
P.
May 13, 2011 P. rated it liked it
Shelves: art
I would hesitate to call this a graphic novel because there's not a tooooootally cohesive narrative. Were it not for the back cover copy I wouldn't know what this is about, but I would enjoy it nonetheless. And the left side drawings can be flipped through like a flip book.

Mysterious and smudgy with a great evoking of itchiness and stuffiness and being stuck in your own headpain, drifting around on painkillers, stuck on a thought.
Stephanie
Oct 22, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I didn't read the back of the book until I finished reading the whole thing, but, as a migraine sufferer, migraines were all I could think about reading this. The narratives proceed according to a kind of dream logic, but the rooting in the experience of a migraine, or any kind of pain, is evocative and visceral, tying the book back in reality somewhat, which I appreciate. And every single image is beautiful and haunting.
Sonic
Feb 02, 2011 Sonic rated it it was amazing
Vague, weird, surreal, bleak and wonderful.

Edward Gorey meets Jim Woodring a'la Anders Nilsen.
This is a cheap comparison, ...
that mistakenly does not emphasize how

super
original Renee French is, ...

and that is why I gave the five star rating.

Not sure what this was, ...


but I would like to try to read it again
sometime.
Kobeest
Mar 07, 2011 Kobeest rated it really liked it
just picked up three renee french books and think she is amazing...h day captures the sense of her migranes it almost makes me wish i got them--almost. the dog creature is just as wonderful and shows a lot of whimsy as it explores about a spare landscape. not for all but definitely good stuff; strikes me as a cross between jim woodring and edward gorey.
Joe
Jun 04, 2011 Joe rated it it was amazing
One of the most literal examples of "sequential art" I have ever seen.

I "read" this twice, and I am still not sure what happened in it, but the pencil images and the hints of narrative cohesion elevate it far above just about anything else I have "read" this year. I just don't know why.

Renee French is phenomenal.
Peter Landau
Sep 18, 2011 Peter Landau rated it it was amazing
Beautifully drawn, mysteriously told and like a mental everlasting gobstopper that keeps you chewing waiting for the flavor to fade. It doesn't.
Megan
Mar 22, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I'd ideally give this 3.5 stars. I enjoyed French's style and her pencil drawings (especially of her dealing with the ant infestation).
David Gallin-Parisi
Jan 03, 2011 David Gallin-Parisi rated it it was amazing
This has the best visual depiction of migraines I've ever seen. Quietly remarkable.
Brian
Dec 03, 2015 Brian rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Little too out there for me. I'll keep swimming though.
Miro
Nov 14, 2012 Miro rated it it was amazing
Beyond words.
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Renée French is a cutting-edge American cartoonist and illustrator. Her work has been widely anthologized, and she is the artist behind the critically acclaimed graphic novel The Ticking, which was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2007. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called her "an inimitable and masterful stylist."
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