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The End of Summer

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  720 ratings  ·  143 reviews
In a secluded castle, at the beginning of a winter that is predicted to last for three years, Lars is battling illness and boredom. He passes the time with his siblings and his giant cat, Nemo, as secrets are revealed and tensions within the family begin to simmer... Tillie Walden's classic debut graphic novel returns in this special edition that includes the new prequel ...more
Paperback, 100 pages
Published February 15th 2017 by Avery Hill Publishing (first published June 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  720 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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David Schaafsma
You almost can't talk about this book without saying that Walden has now published three books, and she is now 20. This is maybe her first big one, written when she was 18, and it has the complexity and depth of someone much older about it. It's the story of ill Lars and his twin sister Maja, who live in a secluded castle, which they close because winter is beginning and it is going to last three years. Lars also has a giant cat, Nemo, (which is a name that calls for early surrealist comics ...more
Laura D
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Very dreamlike but a little too ambiguous at times. Also quite hard to distinguish between the different characters.
I gave this four stars for the atmosphere, setting and art alone! As other reviewers have said there are similarities to the world we know, such as royalty but there is also a three year long winter and a giant cat that carries it's owner around and cuddles with him in bed each night (my dream??) The characters live in this giant castle that is sealed up for said long winter. The castle is just to die for. The details she spends on the architecture are amazing. I wanted to go wander in the ...more
Sooraya Evans
Oct 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A hard to follow debut work, despite all praises.
I can't really tell the characters apart.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea what happened but the pictures will haunt me for years.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I want a giant riding cat.

Great tone setting and world building. Loved the illustrations of the castle. Plot is a bit murky as, most folks noted in their reviews, characters are hard to tell apart. It gets 5 stars anyway.

If anyone is confused about the plot, here's a short synopsis from what I can gather:

(view spoiler)
Derek Royal
Reread in preparation for The Comics Alternative's discussion of the 2016 Ignatz Awards.

New book from a first-time author. It's an intriguing story, but there are parts that are a little ambiguous. Intentional? There is a dreamlike quality to the narrative, at times, so that would make sense. It's set in a world that is obviously not our own, but it seems as such. There are a number of questions I have about this book, even after multiple readings.

I'll be interviewing Tillie for The Comics
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I really, really enjoyed this and am still floored at the body of work Walden has created at such a young. The only thing that kept this from being a 4-star for me was the characters all looked too similar - it was hard to distinguish who was who, which detracted from some of the narrative's emotional pulls.

I would still highly recommend this though. The world-building is super unique and Walden is really deft at using text and art together to tell a story.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I heard a lot of great things about Tillie Walden's work, so I figured I should really read it sometime. And while I understand the praise for the art and the writing, this graphic novel fell really flat for me. I did like the atmosphere of it, but there was just so much missing. There wasn't really any background or structure, so it was very hard to figure out the setting and the storyline. On top of that, there wasn't really any character depth and it was very hard to distinguish between the ...more
Tillie Walden, a mere 20 years old, seems destined for big stardom in the alt/indie comics scene, which is no surprise, as she is clearly super-talented. Her visuals for this somber fantasy tale, particularly of the architecture, are grand and sumptuous, but the story itself just kind of eluded me (I'm admittedly not the biggest fantasy buff), and TBH I had a hard time telling the characters apart. Another example of excellent work that's simply Not For Me. 3 out of 5 stars.
Jack Stark
I've quickly become a fan of Tillie Walden's work over the last few weeks. I really enjoyed this macabre tale. I lost track of who was who a couple of times and it wasn't always clear who was speaking. The art is stunning, and I really enjoyed the structure of the plot, and the way some pages have 15 or so mini panels. It's a slow story, that does a fantastic job of creating intimacy. My heart broke several times.
Lulu (the library leopard)
giant cat giant cat giant cat giANT CAT GIANT CAT
First time through, this was beautiful and haunting and dreamlike, but I wasn't really able to distinguish the characters from each other and didn't follow the plot. Second time through revealed a sad, dark story about a wealthy family sequestered from the world that eventually folds in on itself. Considering that Walden was only 19 when she wrote it, it's beyond incredible to astounding. What kinds of stories will we see coming from her when she's had even more life experience? I hadn't heard ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alex Sarll
At the onset of a winter due to last three years, a family (and their giant cat) lock themselves into their vast palace to wait for spring. And sumptuous as their home is, cabin fever inevitably sets in... A haunting fable, far better suited to the season than the title might suggest, and particularly impressive given it was Tillie Walden's debut. I'll definitely read more from her.
What...the fuck? What the actual fuck?? I've been going back and reading Tillie Walden's other books since I really enjoyed "i love this part" and have been wanting to read On a Sunbeam. And I guess this one, The End of Summer, was her debut novel, but dear GOD, it was so, so weird. Pretty much right from the beginning I had no idea what was happening and found the story really hard to truly follow. I don't know if this is just too ~poetic and abstract~ for me, but it was all over the place and ...more
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, comics
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I liked the concept, but had trouble following the plot because I couldn't tell the characters apart. Also, not enough depth to any of the characters or scenarios to keep my interest.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing architectural art, but nearly impossible to tell characters apart.
Mr Shahabi
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic
Well this is a weird Cartoon book, it's not even comic, it's strip down Ole school newspaper cartoons with a beautiful modern arabesque-ish touch here and there, I mostly liked the drawings, their an eye candy to say the least even if their colorless

As for the plot, well, I think tillie was High or on LSD, because the surrealism in the book is unreal and sometimes you feel that there are layers of realities and fiction fighting to coexist with one another, but that doesn't make it a bad thing,
I admire Tillie Walden incredibly for being so talented to have written, illustrated, and published a work at such a young age. It’s obvious that she has so much talent and passion for her chosen career.

That said, upon finishing this graphic novel, I was very unclear as to what just happened. The whole work is rather dreamlike, which isn’t a bad thing. But it’s difficult to tell some of the characters apart. When Queen Ada confronts King Ivan initially, I assumed she was speaking about Maja; I
Kyle Berk
This is amazing. Honesty I’ve got nothing but love for this comic. From first page to last page I was locked in. It made me feel joy, sadness, anger, betrayal. And that’s what good art does it brings you highs and lows and doesn’t let you resign to the white noise so many other thing buzz.

It’s drawn perfection to every little detail.

It’s a story about a family and some servants. In a house because winter has come and it’ll be three years. It also includes a little prequel.

And it’s top to bottom
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic
a pretty ambitious pitch for a debut graphic novel, and I wish I liked it more.
interesting, loose, non-conventional storytelling although it was a bit hard to follow at times.... sometimes I felt like I was just floating through pages, not caring much for the story or its characters. despite that I still think I'd love to fall into this world Tillie's built– deserted in an empty palace with the grandest of ceilings, nothing but your family and your angst and a giant riding cat– sounds like my
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maybe I am just not the right person for this, but I don’t think I quite got what was even going was hard to keep up with characters and sometimes the art style was really hard for me to pay attention to, let alone understand. It was definitely closer to a 1.25 for me.
Raven Lucero
*4.25/5 stars

This is a beautiful book: beautiful story, beautiful art, beautiful message. I really loved the ambiguity, although I would have liked to have been able to tell the characters apart, and some scenes were just a bit too obscure. Still, this is quite fantastic, and I’m so excited to pick up more from Tilly Walden in the future!
It has its beautiful, tender moments, wonderfully drawn, but overall the best description I can come up with is pretentious.
Cristina Tempest
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's confusing, yet magical.

I've said it time and time again and I'm going to repeat it: you don't need a linear plot -or a plot for that matter-, you don't need a closed ending, you don't need anything at all if what you see is enough to make you understand... and chill your bones.

Beautifully drawn and wonderfully composed.

I'm in love with Tillie.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story confused me deeply.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2018
The artwork and concept are beautiful, but the characters were difficult to tell apart at times, and some of what happens has no dialogue and the pictures aren't really clear enough to fully comprehend the action.
Alexan Martin-Eichner
in terms of narrative and characters, this is one of the best things i have read in my life

but that is only a fragment of the medium, and while the art is generally excellent the draftsmanship is SO horrible that the reading xp feels like an attempt to piece together the logic of a fever dream from last week

potentially beautiful and awe-some, but also chaotic, confusing, and borderline illegible
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Tillie Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, Texas. Born in 1996, she is a recent graduate from the Center for Cartoon Studies, a comics school in Vermont. Over the course of her time at CCS she published three books with the London based Avery Hill Publishing. She has already received an Eisner Award nomination and two Ignatz Awards for her early works. When she is not drawing ...more