by Michael DeForge. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.
Hardcover, 228 pages, Colour, 2021.
“ONE OF THE MOST INVENTIVE AND PROLIFIC CARTOONISTS WORKING TODAY.”—VULTURE
In the past ten years, Michael DeForge has released eleven books. While his style and approach have evolved, he has never wavered from taut character studies and incisive social commentary with a focus on humor. He has deeply probed subjects like identity, gentrification, fame, and sexual desire.
In “No Hell,” an angel’s tour of the five tiers of heaven reveals her obsession with a haunting infidelity. In “Raising,” a couple uses an app to see what their unborn child would look like. Of course, what begins as a simple face-melding experiment becomes a nightmare of too-much-information where the young couple is forced to confront their terrible choices.
“Recommended for You” is an anxious retelling of our narrator’s favorite TV show—a Purge-like societal collapse drama—as a reflection of our desire for meaning in pop culture. Each of these stories shows the inner turmoil of an ordinary person coming to grips with a world vastly different than their initial perception of it. The humor is searing and the emotional weight lingers long after the story ends.
Heaven No Hell collects DeForge’s best work yet. His ability to dig into a subject and break it down with beautiful drawings and sharp writing makes him one of the finest short story writers of the past decade, in comics or beyond. Heaven No Hell is always funny, sometimes sad, and continuously innovative in its deconstruction of society.
Praise for Heaven No Hell
DeForge’s comics feel several steps ahead of everyone else’s thinking. I’m really only ever comparing him to his own work. Few cartoonists feel as liberated...The Comics Journal
DeForge returns with another arresting collection of cryptic, spiky modern parables... [Heaven No Hell] showcases DeForge’s command of genre, tone, and his trademark inventive visual style.Publishers Weekly
This is a comic creator who is lighting the way for a new generation.London Free Press
[The stories] are a joy to read and reread as the ideas hidden inside stick deep in the audience’s brains.BlogCritics
Michael DeForge’s Heaven No Hell is a fascinating exploration of self-subjectivity and sociality. Everything about the book is deeply personal.AIPT