Hardcover, 272 pages, Color, 2019.
Kelsey Wroten’s Cannonball fires the reader straight into the messy life of Caroline Bertram: aspiring writer, queer, art school graduate, near alcoholic, and self proclaimed tortured genius. Wroten tells the story of an artist struggling with the arrival of adulthood and the Sisyphean task of artistic fulfillment. Stunningly drawn in a classic style, with big truths and biting wit, Wroten’s debut graphic novel is Art School Confidential for the Tumblr generation.
Kelsey Wroten works as a freelance illustrator and comics artist. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, NPR, and many more. She’s a Kansas City native living in Brooklyn, NY.
WINNER : Lambda Literary Awards : BEST LGBTQ+ Graphic Novel
Finalist for Indies Awards
Nominated for Ignatz Awards
“Each page’s vivid pastels and expressive cartooning lend emotional vibrancy to the characters’ intellectual banter. Wroten’s playful yet brutal meditation on the meaning of success, millennial anxiety about linking artistic profits to self-worth, and the vagaries of a creative spirit is bound to cement her place as a rising comics talent to watch.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“Wroten goes far beyond simply identifying the labor conditions that threaten the much-needed work queer artists do to produce new narratives and viable mythologies to sustain LGBTQ+ people. This is also a more universal story of exploring the complexities of human psychology: in line with Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother and Ellen Forney’s Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, Wroten’s story is about a person trying to control extremes of feeling and understand their source. […] In all of its grimness, Cannonball is a strikingly fun and funny read. Fans of Roz Chast or Maggie Thrash will find a similar combination of humor and a commitment to not shying away from the unresolvable.” — Lambda Literary
“Kelsey Wroten’s work in these pages is formidable and timely. Cannonball gets people with real nuance to come across, and the things that they struggle with (bills, art, boredom, passion) are in our lives. Wroten gets her say on what’s wrong with us with an understated wisdom one could call sly.” ― Doom Rocket
“Kelsey Wroten puts an unexpected spin on fantasy and pulp scenes, drawing a gun-toting space queen who looks like she could wipe the floor with John Carter, a monster who fears what he might find on the other side of a door, a lady who runs with wolves and isn't afraid to sink her teeth into a little human flesh.” ― Comics Alliance
“[ Kelsey Wroten ] displays a strong talent for rendering performance and setting, as well as a masterful use of color.” ― Broken Frontier