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The Lie and How We Told It

Tommi Parrish’s graphic novel The Lie and How We Told It (2018) is about sex and relationships and denial and how things fall apart and disappointment. Tim and Cleary were boy-girl pals in high school and run into each other at a grocery store after having not seen each other for quite a while. They hang out and talk about past relationships, and both seem confused about who they are sexually and about what they want from a partner. While the possibility of these two hooking up at a deeper level lingers, even their friendship seems to fray later as the story unfolds. Much of the art is painted, some at different stages of completion to depict and support elements of the narrative. Little heads sit atop hulking, almost genderless bodies, and facial features and backdrops transform from panel to panel to convey specific emotions and reactions, which is vital for a story in which the characters have a hard time figuring out and saying what they want. Definitely one of the better graphic novels I've read in recent years.


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