by Rachael Ball - £18.99 Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2015)
hardback ISBN 13: 9781408858073 | ISBN 10: 140885807x
Iris (or balletgirl-42 as she's known on the internet dating circuit) is a zookeeper looking for love when she is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Overnight, her life becomes populated with a carnival of daunting hospital characters. Despite the attempts of her friends – Maud, Granma Suggs, Larry the Monkey and a group of singing penguins – to comfort her, Iris's fears begin to encircle her until all she has to cling to is the attention of a lighthouse keeper called sailor_buoy_39.
The Inflatable Woman combines magic realism with the grit of everyday life to create a poignant and surreal journey inside the human psyche.
"Rachael Ball illustrates a world in soft pencil full of pint-sized nurses, musical penguins and romantic sailors. Her world is so magical you can almost forget the ever present cancer lurking in the blackness that surrounds the panels. This stunning debut graphic novel slips in and out of dreams, poetry and nightmares beautifully illustrating the power of imagination and the unconscious when confronted with the harshest realities of life."
(Karrie Fransman, author of The House That Groaned)
(Price & availability last checked: November 2015)