By Posy Simmonds. Published by Jonathan Cape.
Hardcover, 96 pages, Colour, 2018.
***WINNER OF THE COMEDY WOMEN IN PRINT PRIZE 2020***
'Simmonds is a copper-bottomed genius... she is as brilliant a writer as Britain has' Jenny Colgan, Mail Online
Cassandra Darke is an art dealer, mean, selfish, solitary by nature, living in Chelsea in a house worth £7 million.
She has become a social pariah, but doesn't much care. Between one Christmas and the next, she has sullied the reputation of a West End gallery and has acquired a conviction for fraud, a suspended sentence and a bank balance drained by lawsuits. On the scale of villainy, fraud seems to Cassandra a rather paltry offence - her own crime involving 'no violence, no weapon, no dead body'.
But in Cassandra's basement, her young ex-lodger, Nicki, has left a surprise, something which implies at least violence and probably a body . . . Something which forces Cassandra out of her rich enclave and onto the streets. Not those local streets paved with gold and lit with festive glitter, but grimmer, darker places, where she must make the choice between self-sacrifice and running for her life.
Simmonds is a copper-bottomed genius… she is as brilliant a writer as Britain has.
Jenny Colgan, Mail Online
Scrooge is reimagined for 21st-century London in Posy Simmonds’s devilishly good graphic novel, Cassandra Darke — her first in a decade. Cassandra is a marvellous creation… There is too much clever detail in each of the panels to take in everything at first read — but Cassandra is an antiheroine you’ll want to return to.
Siobhan Murphy, The Times
Simmonds has long been something of a national treasure.
Teddy Jamieson, Herald Scotland
[This] glorious, inky black tale about a mean-spirited old bag of a Chelsea art deal provides more proof of [Posy Simmond’s] genius.
Rachel Cooke, Observer, **Books of the Year**
The new graphic novel by cartoonist, writer and national treasure Posy Simmonds... is a page-turner, [but] it’s impossible to gallop through words and pictures that are so richly textured, so sharply observed.
Francis Wheen, Mail on Sunday
A Christmas crime story that’s bags of fun… Simmonds’ pictorial storytelling is a joy.
Anthony Cummins, Metro
Simmonds’ drawings are exquisitely observed, and seamlessly incorporate text messages and online news reports. Her muted palette, with occasional splashes of colour, is absorbing and in the curmudgeonly Cassandra… Simmonds has produced another character that comes living and breathing off the page.
Carl Wilkinson, Financial Times
Posy Simmonds's delightful new graphic novel Cassandra Darke, full of wonderfully observed vignettes... [is] treasurable.
David Sexton, Evening Standard **Books of the Year**
[Posy Simmonds] is back with a new anti-heroine… [and] jewel-sharp illustrations.
Claire Armitstead, Guardian
Posy Simmonds is the mother of the British graphic novel… The end [of Cassandra Darke] is startlingly poignant, and like all good satire it has a quiet reflection on human mortality at its heart.
Lucy Lethbridge, Tablet