The Hard Tomorrow
The Hard Tomorrow
By Eleanor Davis. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.
Hardcover, 152 pages, B&W, 2019.
THE GORGEOUS AND EMPATHETIC STORY OF ONE COUPLE’S SEARCH FOR HOPE AND A PEACEFUL FUTURE
Hannah is a thirty-something wife, home-health worker, and antiwar activist. Her husband, Johnny, is a stay-at-home pothead working—or “working”—on building them a house before the winter chill sets in. They’re currently living and screwing in the back of a truck, hoping for a pregnancy, which seems like it will never come. Legs in the air, for a better chance at conception, Hannah scans fertility Reddits while Johnny dreams about propagating plants—kale, tomatoes—to ensure they have sufficient sustenance should the end times come, which, given their fragile democracy strained under the weight of a carceral state and the risk of horrible war, doesn’t seem so far off. Helping Hannah in her fight for the future is her best friend Gabby, a queer naturalist she idolizes and who adores her. Helping Johnny build the house is Tyler, an off-the-grid conspiracy theorist driven sick by his own cloudy notions of reality.
Told with tenderness and care in an undefined near future, Eleanor Davis’s The Hard Tomorrow blazes unrestrained, as moments of human connection are doused in fear and threats. Her astute projections probe at current anxieties in a cautionary tale that begs the question: What will happen after tomorrow?
Praise for The Hard Tomorrow
An emotional narrative that’s charming and sometimes shocking.Mike Donachie, Toronto Star
[The Hard Tomorrow] is a very kind book. It's a very loving book, It is a very optimistic book, despite it being a very harsh world that they're living in.The Hollywood Reporter
The way [Eleanor Davis] draws and writes about the lives of Hannah, an activist, and Johnny, a pothead, gives the form its due, creating a beautiful story from the horrible worries that plague everyone of child-bearing age.The Boston Globe
[The Hard Tomorrow] looks at a bleak and very familiar near-future to tell a story about activism, empathy, and believing in a better world… Davis captures facial expressions, body language, and gestures with curving, wiry lines that imbue the artwork with both spontaneity and grace.The AV Club
You want to read a story that will put your heart through a wringer? You want characters of all kinds – among both the oppressors and the oppressed, as well as history’s wannabe disinterested bystanders – who are encountered in fully human, alive-and-breathing detail? Then you want to read this book.The Austin Chronicle
The Hard Tomorrow offers a well-observed and at times suspenseful character study of two people trying to face the future.The Atlanta Journal Constitution
The Hard Tomorrow feels as immediate as the news on your Facebook feed and as timeless as Victor Hugo...A beautiful comic that speaks like no other book I read this year to how hard 2019 has been on hope, and why so many of us still have some.Slate best of 2019
An intimate, tender meditation on love and hope against the backdrop of a bleak, crumbling America that feels all too familiar.Rachel Heng, author of Suicide Club
Davis presents her protagonists’ messy humanity in a kind, plain light... [seeming] to argue that any life is rich and complicated enough to merit its own book—and she convinces the reader she is right.Publishers Weekly
The virtuosic Eleanor Davis delves into a story of intimacy, connection and concreteness...Davis’ art, more gorgeous than ever, lends every simple moment glorious significance.NPR best of 2019
Eleanor Davis is one of the very best cartoonists working today. She has (among many other things) an amazing way of drawing people: they are both emotional expressions, as vivid and immediately legible as Bugs Bunny, and, at the same time, convincing as bodies in the world, weighty and vulnerable, with scuffed knees and unruly hair.Gabriel Winslow-Yost, New York Review of Books
In The Hard Tomorrow, Davis uses crisp, deep blacks and pure whites for characters who are equally solid in their convictions.Lit Hub
Eleanor Davis’s work is the most tender, humane, beautiful slap in the face. She is a bullshit antidote.Lisa Hanawalt, author of Coyote Doggirl and creator of Tuca and Bertie
For whom do we try to make a better world? Davis’s subtle take on a major philosophical question is an efficient and affective read for anyone struggling to find purpose in trying times.Emilia Packard, Library Journal
Hope is a messy business—inextricably linked with fear, because they are two sides of the same coin. In The Hard Tomorrow, Eleanor Davis brings us into the heart of things, into the tension between the coin's faces that hold them together. Within that space are the things we hope and fear for the most - life, death, freedom, love. This is Davis's best book yet, and should ensconce this universally admired comic artist among the giant literary figures of 2019.Kate Beaton, author of Hark! A Vagrant
Nobody draws like Eleanor Davis. Get used to it. I sure had to.Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of Love and Rockets
The question of just what can be made of the future, and whether anything is worth fighting for, haunts the book… pure possibility and potential, and all the anxiety and hope that comes with it.Hyperallergic
Graphic novelist Eleanor Davis’s acclaimed book about a health worker and her pothead husband trying to conceive in a world tottering towards collapse.The Guardian
I’ve always been a massive fan of Eleanor Davis and her impressive range of drawing styles, but this book completely stole my heart in both story and artwork.Comics Beat best of 2019