cover image A Chance

A Chance

Cristina Durán and Miguel Giner Bou, trans. from the Spanish by Katherine Rucker. Graphic Mundi, $29.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-63779-003-8

Durán and Giner Bou depict distinct experiences in parenthood with love and charm in a graphic memoir that runs by turns from harrowing to lighthearted. When the couple’s first daughter, Laia, suffers brain damage shortly after birth, father Migue observes, “I see myself [like] a camera filming the scene...‘Oof, I’m in a Lars Von Trier film.’ ” As Laia’s prognosis remains uncertain, her parents feel the pull of the “abyss,” represented by an inky blob that fills their bodies. But they are buoyed by supportive family and friends—not to mention Spain’s socialized health care—and they take on the life of special-needs parenting with gusto and gratitude. They’ve always hoped to adopt, scowling at an assuming adoption professional who quips, “So [having a disabled child] doesn’t happen again, right?” The yearslong process of paperwork, training, interviews, and waiting to welcome a child from Ethiopia is depicted as a towering maze, and inequities between Spain and Ethiopia are neither foregrounded nor swept under the rug. Three-year-old Selamawit settles into her new family after a period of adjustment for all. Durán and Bou draw their characters with confident lines, curves, and angles, and kind eyes. It’s a comic that aptly captures the often rigorous work necessary in building a family. (Dec.)