Winterland, by Kathleen Bryson and Jessica Cheeseman, is a graphic novel set deeply in smalltown Alaska, hidden far back in forested childhoods, embedded forever in the coldest season.

Yet even in this Arctic noir winter world, blood and passion work their way to the surface. Local girl loves another hometown girl amidst murder and then middle-age. But our narrator learned love’s price as a child, and so her adult love is always icy, for every season is a winterland. What will melt the snowdrifts? Once-hot haemoglobin spheres now frozen inside packed snow? A woman stretched out naked against the whiteness, vulnerable to a knifethrower’s aim, the near-misses warming her flesh with every stab? A child’s long-delayed compassion upon witnessing cold-blooded murder?

Jessica Cheeseman’s stunning drawings, of surreal vanilla ice-cream snowscapes, glacial children and oddly festering crimes, beautifully illustrate Kathleen Bryson’s elegaic prose in Winterland.

Copyright Kathleen Bryson & Jessica Cheeseman 2011/2012


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