Calling Dr. Laura
When Nicole Georges was two years old, her family told her that her father was dead. When she was twenty-three, a psychic told her he was alive. Her sister, saddled with guilt, admits that the psychic is right and that the whole family has conspired to keep him a secret. Sent into a tailspin about her identity, Nicole turns to radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger for advice.Packed cover-to-cover with heartfelt and disarming black-and-white illustrations, Calling Dr. Laura tells the story of what happens to you when you are raised in a family of secrets, and what happens to your brain (and heart) when you learn the truth from an unlikely source. Part coming-of-age and part coming-out story, Calling Dr. Laura marks the arrival of an exciting and winning new voice in graphic literature.

Calling Dr. Laura Details

TitleCalling Dr. Laura
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 22nd, 2013
PublisherMariner Books
ISBN0547615590
ISBN-139780547615592
Number of pages262 pages
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Autobiography, Memoir, Comics, Nonfiction, Glbt, Queer

Calling Dr. Laura Review

  • Randa
    April 2, 2013
    I thought this was fabulous. The comparisons to Fun Home are completely unfair. Just because Bechdel and Georges are both queer, doesn't mean one book makes the other redundant. I'd like to see someone say about a white straight guy writer, "Oh, some other white straight guy already did that." The story packs an emotional punch and the art is equally emotionally wrenching. I loved the ways in which Nikki was portrayed as a small child in the drawings vs an adult. And I loved the raw honest portr I thought this was fabulous. The comparisons to Fun Home are completely unfair. Just because Bechdel and Georges are both queer, doesn't mean one book makes the other redundant. I'd like to see someone say about a white straight guy writer, "Oh, some other white straight guy already did that." The story packs an emotional punch and the art is equally emotionally wrenching. I loved the ways in which Nikki was portrayed as a small child in the drawings vs an adult. And I loved the raw honest portrayals of relationships. I also got goosebumps when the mother characters said "Sito" or talked about Arabic food- I didn't know Georges was Arab-American and it was a thrill to find extra-kindred in her work.
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  • Raina
    February 20, 2014
    This is one of the most personal stories I've ever read. Georges pulls no punches - she talks about her physical, mental, emotional, relational, and social problems with candor and rawness. This story is less linear than I expected - it's less about Dr. Laura, it's less about her family, and it's more about her and where she was at during this very personal moment of an era. It's more about her romantic relationship with a rockstar named Radar. It makes me think about how, really, all of our liv This is one of the most personal stories I've ever read. Georges pulls no punches - she talks about her physical, mental, emotional, relational, and social problems with candor and rawness. This story is less linear than I expected - it's less about Dr. Laura, it's less about her family, and it's more about her and where she was at during this very personal moment of an era. It's more about her romantic relationship with a rockstar named Radar. It makes me think about how, really, all of our lives come down to patchworks of context. At any moment, we are experiencing the world with a synthesis of childhood trauma, mental wiring, astrological tendencies, aesthetic preferences, life goals and desires, and physical clouding. There are no experiences we have that are just about the facts of what is happening. There are times when we can handle being grown-ups, and there are times when it all comes crashing down. There are times when you need your friends to help you keep your chin up, and there are nights when you just need them to bring over a bottle of wine and give you a hug. "Significant others" can play a role in your comfort, but it's important to have a support system outside of that one person who may or may not be in your life longterm....wow, sorry. I guess this lovely book struck a nerve.Back to the book...Georges' illustrations are beautiful and curvy - I really appreciate the change in aesthetic she adopts when flashing back to her childhood. There's the ease here of an honest, practiced zinester. It's a beautiful package, and not one where I missed color all that much. It feels like you're peeking into a (very articulate and polished) personal journal/sketchbook. Although she's definitely addressing you, the reader, directly.The issues she explores here are not only personal, traumatic, and emotional - they're also very adjacent to stuff that I deal with in my own life, particularly recently (as you've probably guessed).After reading this, I want to give her a hug. And cry. Navigating a progressive life can be so damn exhausting.Bought myself a signed copy at Georges' reading at the Olympia library.
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  • Deborah Markus
    January 3, 2015
    I feel sad and kind of guilty that I didn't like this graphic memoir as much as I expected to. Sad because, well, duh – it's disappointing to be disappointed, and this sounded so promising. Guilty because Nicole Georges definitely had a story to tell, and I feel as if I caught maybe half of it.Partly that's because of Georges' style. I read plenty of comics and graphic novels, and I've never found it difficult to tell who was talking. In this book, I often did.Partly, though, I kept looking for I feel sad and kind of guilty that I didn't like this graphic memoir as much as I expected to. Sad because, well, duh – it's disappointing to be disappointed, and this sounded so promising. Guilty because Nicole Georges definitely had a story to tell, and I feel as if I caught maybe half of it.Partly that's because of Georges' style. I read plenty of comics and graphic novels, and I've never found it difficult to tell who was talking. In this book, I often did.Partly, though, I kept looking for an arc that just wasn't there. Georges keeps bringing up ideas and events that feel as if they're leading to some kind of payoff, and then it all fizzles out. Things happen almost at random, without much in the way of analysis. The story is vague and melancholy and the wrong kind of quiet.True fact: Nicole Georges' response to stress is to doze off. That's exactly how this story felt to me – as if she weren't quite awake through the telling of it, but expected me to be.I love graphic novels, but this one just didn't work for me.
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  • Jan Philipzig
    January 15, 2015
    Both whimsical and forthright, cute and frank, loose and firm, delicate and determined - I love it!
  • Terry
    June 19, 2013
    It was an interesting experience to pick this up literally as soon as I put down Ellen Forney's Marbles. Unfortunately, having read Marbles made me like this book a little bit less. One thing I noticed after having experienced Forney's art is that some of Georges' artwork was...disorienting. Occasionally I really squinted and thought to myself, "Uh...wha..? What am I looking at? Where are we, right now? What?" And unfortunately several of the characters in the book look--or are drawn to look--di It was an interesting experience to pick this up literally as soon as I put down Ellen Forney's Marbles. Unfortunately, having read Marbles made me like this book a little bit less. One thing I noticed after having experienced Forney's art is that some of Georges' artwork was...disorienting. Occasionally I really squinted and thought to myself, "Uh...wha..? What am I looking at? Where are we, right now? What?" And unfortunately several of the characters in the book look--or are drawn to look--disconcertingly similar, and so I sometimes felt "disoriented" for that reason. That's a bad reaction for a graphic book.At least twice in the "story" Georges says "But that's another story" or "That's another story for another time." I really hate when writers do that. Either tell me the story, or leave it out, but don't specifically tell me, "I have a story to tell here, but I'm not going to tell it now." I mean...why say that? Especially since whatever the story may be, the topic seems directly relevant to the moment, so...why leave it out? Well, more specifically, why tell ME you're leaving out what seems to be a directly relevant story? Also, the telling of the story felt a bit...haphazard. Georges moved around, from Florida to Kansas to Portland and travels quite a bit, and, the story itself is told in multiple flashbacks, sometimes a flashback within a flashback, and again--maybe it's haphazard the way life and/or memory is, but experiencing it in a book is (sorry to use this word again)...disorienting. (And another thing along these lines--Georges mentions two older sisters, but then describes her childhood as if she lived as an only child, but then in asides makes it clear that at least one of them was significantly close to her, and...it's not made clear why she leaves them out ENTIRELY except for when they are adults.)I don't know. I feel like there were several stories going on at once, and I really wanted to hear more about many of them, and the ending is really, to me, abrupt, and so I almost wish an editor or publisher had allowed her room/time to tell all the threads of her stories, across multiple books.
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  • Sesana
    November 4, 2013
    Nicole is a very likeable person, and her story is exactly the sort of thing that dramatic memoirs are made of. Believing that her father died of colon cancer when she was very young, she suddenly learns as an adult that he never died at all, and her mother has been deliberately hiding that from her for her entire life. That's a huge, dramatic revelation, and I expected a huge, dramatic story to come from it. Not so much. Nicole's response is very subdued. I can't imagine waiting over a year to Nicole is a very likeable person, and her story is exactly the sort of thing that dramatic memoirs are made of. Believing that her father died of colon cancer when she was very young, she suddenly learns as an adult that he never died at all, and her mother has been deliberately hiding that from her for her entire life. That's a huge, dramatic revelation, and I expected a huge, dramatic story to come from it. Not so much. Nicole's response is very subdued. I can't imagine waiting over a year to tell my mother that I know she's been lying to me about my father's death. But then again, my mother would never do that. Nicole's reluctance to confront her does make sense, in a way. She recognizes from early on that she won't get satisfaction from her, so what's the point of a confrontation? I do get where she's coming from, but I still badly wanted to see more of a reaction out of her. A big chunk of this book was about Nicole's relationship with then-girlfriend Radar, rather than her current relationship with her mother. It wasn't a good relationship, and those parts of the book tended to drag. I would have rather had more about her mother, or her sisters. I was also surprised by just how little Dr. Laura had to do with anything. The publisher summary had given me the impression that she'd called Dr. Laura more than once. Instead, it seems like she only called her once, and got some really terrible advice. That whole part flies by so fast, and it's a bit disappointing. But the last few pages are great, by far the best part of the book. It was sad, and a little hopeful. A great note to walk away from the book on. And it was a very quick read overall, despite its size. So I did like it, there were just some things that could have been better (tighter focus, definitely, and the art could have been a bit clearer in a few places) and I didn't fully connect with Nicole, even though I liked her and understood her reactions.
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  • Oriana
    November 22, 2013
    Book #41 for J&C!!I am suuuuch a sucker for the indie lady comic memoirs. Plus, if that lady is a vegan lesbian rocker from Portland who keeps chickens in her backyard, falls asleep during times of extreme stress, seduces girls by baking them peanut butter cups, and has staggering familial issues to contend with? Well. Then I will certainly fall in love. It's true that this book is a bit disjointed and jumbly; she takes long digressions into points that are not all that important (like the t Book #41 for J&C!!I am suuuuch a sucker for the indie lady comic memoirs. Plus, if that lady is a vegan lesbian rocker from Portland who keeps chickens in her backyard, falls asleep during times of extreme stress, seduces girls by baking them peanut butter cups, and has staggering familial issues to contend with? Well. Then I will certainly fall in love. It's true that this book is a bit disjointed and jumbly; she takes long digressions into points that are not all that important (like the title sequence, when she calls in to the "Dr. Laura" radio show for advice, and then transcribes the entire conversation), and she also glosses over some bigger things that I think deserved closer attention. But I thought it was marvelous anyway. The story as given is still strong and extremely emotionally open. It's a shockingly intimate journey to go on with Nicole, from her pooping problems to her emotionally volatile mother to her various agonizing heartbreaks. It's possible that I got some dust in my eye when I read the epilogue, even.Plus! I actually will say something about the illustrations: I adore them. For one thing, she is sooo good at facial expressions. I decided this on like p5, which I have pasted below—sorry it's tiny and hard to see. Trust me, the expression in the bottom panel on the left when the other girl says "I don't want a girlfriend" is just so ridiculously perfect. Moar indie lady comics memoirs in 2014, pls!
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  • Kevin
    May 17, 2013
    It's so easy to fall into this endearing and bittersweet graphic memoir. It's as good as Bechdel's Fun Home but it also has a wonderful overcast Portland vibe through it all as Georges's family secrets hang over her like a cloud. It's a sad read at times but Georges is able to make each character (family members, girlfriends) into sympathetic characters, even when they're flaws are showing. And of course, the artwork is fantastic too.
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  • Sarah
    June 9, 2013
    I do not condone calling Dr. Laura for advice and you should never (EVER) read one of her childrens' books, as they will hurt your eyes and your soul. I do support you reading this memoir that features Dr. Laura and my fair city, though. Wholeheartedly!!
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  • Kurt
    November 26, 2012
    This graphic memoir is a fragile and beautiful examination of a young woman learning hard truths and trying to find love and support as she figures out what to do with them. Many aspects of the book are pretty mundane - challenges of life as a vegan, karaoke shows, care for chickens and dogs... Life as a young cartoonist in Portland. I can see how many readers will fail to engage with the material, but I liked it. Mostly, I love how pure Georges' heart is throughout the book. She tackles the eno This graphic memoir is a fragile and beautiful examination of a young woman learning hard truths and trying to find love and support as she figures out what to do with them. Many aspects of the book are pretty mundane - challenges of life as a vegan, karaoke shows, care for chickens and dogs... Life as a young cartoonist in Portland. I can see how many readers will fail to engage with the material, but I liked it. Mostly, I love how pure Georges' heart is throughout the book. She tackles the enormity of a lifelong lie told to her by her family (her "dead" father is not really dead, which features prominently in the description on the back cover but doesn't really become a central feature of the book until the last third or so) and a need to hide aspects of her own life from that same family (the book has an inspiring and difficult coming-out story), and the layers of truth and deception interplay to create a powerful portrait of her mother-daughter relationship. Georges details some horrific characteristics of her mother but retains an innocence through the process (sometimes representing herself visually as a goat or a.. hedgehog? but generally just letting the reader see her good intentions). There is also a heartbreaking relationship scene that ends with a luxurious moment where Georges gets to enjoy unconditional canine love that gets her through. Anyone who can survive the kind of life Georges has had - while still loving and being loved by dogs - is worth reading.The art here is nice as well. I'm generally not a huge fan of black-and-white graphic novels, but the style works well here to give the book an indie feel and bring out the idea of Portland in its setting. Also, Georges works with grays to add a lot of texture to her illustrations, so the images are never boring. Most importantly, there is a beautiful shift in styles between images of Georges narrating present events and when her attention turns to her childhood - a technique that slips into the reader's heart like an emotional knife later in the book as these styles blend to bring out the times when Georges sees herself as an emotionally vulnerable child in the midst of her adult life.I recommend this book for anyone interested in Portland, complicated families, or thoughtful graphic novels/memoirs in general. It drifts along with a relaxed pace that may bore some, but the power of the emotion and spirit within the pages are certainly worth the read for everyone else.(I think I'm supposed to mention that I received a free copy from the Amazon Vine program.)
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  • David Schaafsma
    April 28, 2013
    The art is great, in this graphic memoir, and Nick seems fun and interesting, but also seems sort of shallow, in a way, something's missing, even as we confront lies about who her father was, abusive step dads, broken relationships, in this coming out story. It feels like this BIG and attractive book is trying to balance being funny with sharing oh wow details about her life. . . but it doesn't come off as oh wow to me, really, even though the father/coming out stories are the two very center-pi The art is great, in this graphic memoir, and Nick seems fun and interesting, but also seems sort of shallow, in a way, something's missing, even as we confront lies about who her father was, abusive step dads, broken relationships, in this coming out story. It feels like this BIG and attractive book is trying to balance being funny with sharing oh wow details about her life. . . but it doesn't come off as oh wow to me, really, even though the father/coming out stories are the two very center-pieces of the story. . . Is it maybe because I am not the target audience for this book, as a straight male? Possibly. You tell me, but I think this feels like something is missing, some dramatic arc she seems to promise. . . some surprising thing, but it doesn't feel all that insightful, finally. I know I am in the minority on this one. Georges is a talented artist and she does lots of fun stuff in here, no question, creating a lighter and "fun" feel to everything. . . but it feels sort of flat to me. Go ahead, talk me out of it.
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  • Dawn
    December 3, 2012
    I liked it, but something was missing. The only "WOW!" moment I had was at the very end. This memoir is worth reading for the ending alone. There was closure, though what happens was a complete shock (as I'm sure it was to Nicole). It was touching, though, with a small offering of hope - both of which seemed missing throughout the rest of the book. Although there is some emotion and stabs at hope, none of it feels deep, lasting, or real. In other words, there isn't much resolution.What I liked:* I liked it, but something was missing. The only "WOW!" moment I had was at the very end. This memoir is worth reading for the ending alone. There was closure, though what happens was a complete shock (as I'm sure it was to Nicole). It was touching, though, with a small offering of hope - both of which seemed missing throughout the rest of the book. Although there is some emotion and stabs at hope, none of it feels deep, lasting, or real. In other words, there isn't much resolution.What I liked:* Nickie is likable. There were moments when I felt I could relate to her. There were moments I just wanted to reach into the pages and hug her.* I liked how she explained, almost in "technical terms" (something you might see in a medical book for moms about their children's illnesses), about encopresis and then later about "fainting goats" and what the causes (and effects) might be. She followed up on the one-page lessons with examples from her life when she suffered from both of these horrible maladies. I thought it was interesting.* I laughed when an apparently spoiled rotten dog delighted in using her glasses as a chew toy, because Nickie loves dogs (and it seems other animals). There are other moments of humor - but not many. Granted, you can't always write over tragedy, abuse and lies with funny ha-ha lines. But still. This book made me sad.What I wasn't crazy about:* Some parts of the story were very abrupt or felt unfinished/shallow.* I didn't understand Nickie very well at times. Although there were times I related and wanted to hug her, there were also times I just didn't "get it."* Nicole's decision (and why she made it ... it was "easier") regarding Dr. Laura's advice.Overall the book was enjoyable. And annoying. And tragic. It can't hurt to read it and see for yourself.
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  • Robert
    October 2, 2012
    I truly enjoyed this graphic novel memoir from Nicole J. Georges, who, along with such folks as Annie Murphy, Aron Nels Steinke, and Jesse Reklaw, represents to me what the vibrant, influential alternative comics scene of Portland, Oregon is all about. Georges's delicate portrait of family dysfunction and unraveling secrets is by turns wan, painful, and whimsical, and never less than involving. Her warm, fanciful drawings manage to alleviate some of often grim subject matter (her animal drawings I truly enjoyed this graphic novel memoir from Nicole J. Georges, who, along with such folks as Annie Murphy, Aron Nels Steinke, and Jesse Reklaw, represents to me what the vibrant, influential alternative comics scene of Portland, Oregon is all about. Georges's delicate portrait of family dysfunction and unraveling secrets is by turns wan, painful, and whimsical, and never less than involving. Her warm, fanciful drawings manage to alleviate some of often grim subject matter (her animal drawings are rendered with a particularly loving touch) but the book nevertheless packs a punch. As several readers have opined, this is indeed a good companion piece to Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, so don’t you miss it. Update: Reread this a year later in Jan 2014 and have to say it holds up just great. In fact, I liked it even more, always nice when that happens.
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  • Sara
    February 1, 2013
    HEY GUYS LOOK, I READ A BOOK MEANT FOR GROWN UPS. I saw Nicole Georges speak at the library, and I could not resist buying a copy and reading it immediately. I am really glad I did -- I LOVE Nicole's art. She is pretty brilliant at creating mesmerizing images, as well as combining them with words. I could stare at each one of the panels for years, and there were so many beautiful moments I wish I could get prints of and frame on my wall. (I can't stop thinking about the amazing three frames wher HEY GUYS LOOK, I READ A BOOK MEANT FOR GROWN UPS. I saw Nicole Georges speak at the library, and I could not resist buying a copy and reading it immediately. I am really glad I did -- I LOVE Nicole's art. She is pretty brilliant at creating mesmerizing images, as well as combining them with words. I could stare at each one of the panels for years, and there were so many beautiful moments I wish I could get prints of and frame on my wall. (I can't stop thinking about the amazing three frames where she is hanging out with a chicken on her front porch, and then hugs it). This book is so honest and clear in its emotions -- Nicole really let her reader into her head, and it worked so well. I'm really glad I read this, and I'm really glad she shared this story with the world.
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  • Abby
    February 2, 2013
    Devoured this absorbing and beautifully illustrated graphic memoir in one big Saturday night reading binge and throughly enjoyed it. Until her early adulthood, Nicole Georges believed her father had died when she was a baby. In fact, that's what everyone in her family told her and she had no reason to doubt them. Then she visited a psychic who told her that her father was still alive -- and unlike all the psychic's other predictions, it turned out this one was true.For those not already familiar Devoured this absorbing and beautifully illustrated graphic memoir in one big Saturday night reading binge and throughly enjoyed it. Until her early adulthood, Nicole Georges believed her father had died when she was a baby. In fact, that's what everyone in her family told her and she had no reason to doubt them. Then she visited a psychic who told her that her father was still alive -- and unlike all the psychic's other predictions, it turned out this one was true.For those not already familiar with Georges' work as an independent cartoonist and zinester, I might describe this book as Fun Home set in a episode of "Portlandia" -- the vegan-friendly, lesbionic version of "Portlandia," to be precise. But that flippant categorization doesn't do justice to the real emotional impact of the book -- Georges is very honest about her feelings of confusion, fear and paralysis after learning from her older half-sister that the psychic's revelation was indeed true and her entire family had concealed the truth from her for years. In some ways, the book is less about the search for her father than her complex and fraught relationships with her mother and her girlfriend Radar, who encouraged Nicole to seek the truth about her dad. I really love Georges' drawing style which is very lush and atmospheric, kind like a more sedate Dame Darcy, when depicting her current life in Portland. There is a great panel of her sitting in a hammock in her backyard, flanked by chickens and holding a broom, with a pensive expression on her face that nicely encapsulates the yearning, slightly overcast mood of the whole book. In a particularly effective illustrative technique, Georges switches to a simpler, more cartoonish drawing style when she recounts scenes from her childhood, some of which are very painful and revealing. It's a perfect example of how comics can evoke a feeling or mood through drawing style alone. The stark simplicity of these drawings mirrors the way childhood memories sometimes feel, the granular details of important events often erased, leaving only lines that have etched themselves on our consciousness and profoundly shaped our self-conceptions. Full disclosure: I know Nicole through our mutual friends in the PNW zine/comix and queer indie/punk scenes. That world is lovingly and vividly depicted in this book, and it all rang very true to me. It was fun to recognize many familiar PDX haunts in her illustrations. Yet I can see how people with no familiarity or interest in those subcultures might not find those details so captivating. I'm not sure that this book will resonate as deeply with all readers, but I would recommend it those who enjoy memoirs about unraveling family secrets and stories featuring unusual female characters who aren't afraid to share difficult personal truths. A must read for fans of Allison Bechdel and Michelle Tea.
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  • Megan
    September 17, 2016
    Feelings! I really got into the emotions of Nicole. I like the art and the humor. Lovely, lovely, lovely!
  • Jordan
    February 5, 2013
    Dr. Laura Schlessinger is.... well, she is, that's for sure. Her confrontational, no-nonsense, (off-the-rails-BITCHY) style of counseling is infamous, and attracts a wide audience out of sheer WTF-ery.Nicole Georges described her PERFECTLY in this memoir, by comparing her to the mother from Dinosaurs for the shape of her hair and her vaguely reptilian qualities: Believe me, I lost it. So, with the weight of Dr. Laura's reputation and cult following, why would you call her? What level of desperat Dr. Laura Schlessinger is.... well, she is, that's for sure. Her confrontational, no-nonsense, (off-the-rails-BITCHY) style of counseling is infamous, and attracts a wide audience out of sheer WTF-ery.Nicole Georges described her PERFECTLY in this memoir, by comparing her to the mother from Dinosaurs for the shape of her hair and her vaguely reptilian qualities: Believe me, I lost it. So, with the weight of Dr. Laura's reputation and cult following, why would you call her? What level of desperation and misdirection is required to air your grievances for a pseudo-psychology radio community? For Georges, all it took was a childhood of bowel problems and abusive stepfathers, a web of lies concealing her real father's identity and circumstances, and the overwhelming fear of coming out as a lesbian to her hostile Syrian mother. So trivial, amirite? (sarcasm)Nicole Georges paints a deeply moving portrait of her childhood and young adulthood, leading up to several self-realizations, and yes, the titular call to Dr. Laura. She plays with timelines and formatting, and weaves together a sparse childhood of fear and lies, and a more fully fleshed out adulthood as a lesbian artist in Portland, Oregon (REPRESENT, sista). This dichotomy is clearly reflected in Georges' drawing panels: her childhood self is a stick figure in simple settings, while her adult self is lovingly shaded and set in richly detailed settings, as if to honor the confident and multidimensional woman she has become. I love this styling choice, and found it especially moving when Georges would revert to her "child" style during "adult" scenes for moments of emotional vulnerability, such as (view spoiler)[Radar's terse break-up speech. (hide spoiler)] For the most part, the art enhances the humor and feeling of Georges' story beyond the conventions of a text biography. I say "for the most part," because a few scenes fell a tad flat for me, but not to the point of inhibiting my enjoyment of this volume. I don't know, it's difficult to explain. Some styling choices, such as the use of hedgehog and horse imagery, didn't feel accessible to me. Also, Portlander problem: I see Georges' animal portraiture all over town, and her style being imitated everywhere in between. It can be hard to separate this book from that background as a reader. However, Georges' story is so unique, and her voice so funny and fresh, that this book still blew me away despite my awkward hangups regarding style.Buy this title from Powell's Books.
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  • Tiphany
    February 22, 2017
    Is it bad that it's KILLING ME that we don't find out if Radar was cheating??!
  • Lord Beardsley
    February 12, 2013
    Sometimes, while reading this, I felt as if I was reading my life story. That doesn't really happen so much to me, but I am very happy that this book exists.As a queer cisgender woman who is a drawrer', I am very grateful to see Nicole Georges' presence in the world of graphic novels. Her work is poignant and evocative, and it is SO REFRESHING to not see perfection. Things are a bit out of proportion and at times a bit messy...and I really, really respect seeing that. It's an aesthetic that is n Sometimes, while reading this, I felt as if I was reading my life story. That doesn't really happen so much to me, but I am very happy that this book exists.As a queer cisgender woman who is a drawrer', I am very grateful to see Nicole Georges' presence in the world of graphic novels. Her work is poignant and evocative, and it is SO REFRESHING to not see perfection. Things are a bit out of proportion and at times a bit messy...and I really, really respect seeing that. It's an aesthetic that is not easily accepted, and to me, not only does it feel natural, but it also feels so human and intimate. I can't wait to see more of her stuff! P.S. Her drawings of her dog friends are so sweet they make me want to cry.
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  • Stacy Fetters
    December 10, 2014
    Recently if anyone has had a secret that rocked their family, they have written a graphic memoir about it. And I'm so done with those, But this will restore your faith with those pesky little buggers.N. Georges doesn't pull punches or sugarcoat all the weirdness that is her family. From having stomach problems, your dad dying and being a con man and your own mom not wanting to hear the truth about your sexuality. She lets her flag fly and doesn't give a damn. I'll be checking out her Zines here Recently if anyone has had a secret that rocked their family, they have written a graphic memoir about it. And I'm so done with those, But this will restore your faith with those pesky little buggers.N. Georges doesn't pull punches or sugarcoat all the weirdness that is her family. From having stomach problems, your dad dying and being a con man and your own mom not wanting to hear the truth about your sexuality. She lets her flag fly and doesn't give a damn. I'll be checking out her Zines here in the near future.
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  • Amanda L
    April 3, 2014
    Includes a transcript of a call with conservative wing-nut, ridiculously judge-y Dr. Laura Schlessinger! Gotta be worth a laugh. A worthy story, to boot. Family secrets, deception, and an inspiring, quirky woman's quest to uncover the truth triggered by a serendipitous visit to a psychic. So much conveyed in relatively few words. Damn fine illustrations.
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  • Misty
    November 5, 2013
    A beautifully illustrated memoir about a woman's journey of finding herself and uncovering a family secret. Not only did the telling of her story bring me close to tears, but how amazing the detail, art, and love that was put into the book. I definitely want to follow Nicole's work and would love to have a crafting party with her!
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  • Sarah
    April 27, 2016
    Lovely drawings, intriguing story and a unique perspective/story-telling style. One of the better graphic novels I've read in a long time. I especially liked the way NJG uses different styles to differentiate between and also merge childhood and adult experiences.
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  • Teisha
    January 16, 2017
    Dark, fluid, and definitely not what I expectes.
  • Hannah Messler
    December 7, 2013
    I like true things better than fictional things lately, and this is probably my favorite, graphic memoirs by women. There's something about someone telling her story as accurately as she can, caught in the tension between the process of locating a self and locating that self in the world, that is just enormously satisfying to bear witness to. I heard about this book on How Was Your Week, which is fitting, since this tension is precisely why I'm obsessed with Julie Klausner's opening monologues-- I like true things better than fictional things lately, and this is probably my favorite, graphic memoirs by women. There's something about someone telling her story as accurately as she can, caught in the tension between the process of locating a self and locating that self in the world, that is just enormously satisfying to bear witness to. I heard about this book on How Was Your Week, which is fitting, since this tension is precisely why I'm obsessed with Julie Klausner's opening monologues--getting to listen to her trudging like a hero through this incredibly difficult work, this fundamental human project we are all to some degree or another engaged in our whole lives, the activity of being a person, is, again and again, a revelation. It is *so much easier* to wheedle and perform. It is *so difficult and important* to not just fucking stomp around crushing everyone's spirit with how special you think you are. This book is absolutely a joy. The world is a big lazy jerk and it will just whack you in the face with a bunch of dicks all the time if you don't put your damn glasses on and start keeping an eye out for it. And then it will be real easy for you to spend your whole life trapping people into listening to how the world whacked you in the face with a bunch of dicks, but you know what, everyone's going to wish you would move back home, because seriously shut. UP. we have all been whacked in the damn face a bunch of times, it's a mess, we're tired of it, and if all you're going to do is try and compete for who got their face the most mashed in, welp. Congratulations. Have a fun life with the morons who are able to tolerate you because the rest of us, no. We will pretend we don't see you.That was kind of a tangent but point being, it's really easy to take your dark history and hold everyone hostage just because it's too awkward usually for people to be like oh hey would you mind shutting up you're an idiot. It's much harder, and more rewarding, and more gracious and generous and helpful and just even if we say fuck all the virtues it's just more skillful and interesting, to tell your story well and truly and painfully and accurately. This book does that. Its main flaw is, once you've read Anders Nilsen's Big Questions and seen what a graphic novel can be if you devote like ten years to it or whatever, you will wish Georges had had ten years to devote to this--but really all that means is we'll all be extra excited for whatever her next project is. Super good. Totally recommend.
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  • Ciara
    March 10, 2013
    well, i thought it was great. nicole is a fantastic artist, especially when it comes to self-portraits & animals, & as this is a memoir full to the gills with dogs & chickens, i thought it was really beautiful. i also can hardly fathom the amount of work that must go into creating a 200+-page graphic memoir.full disclosure: i have known nicole for a long time. we first met before she ever moved to portland, when we were both teenagers. we are both now in our mid-30s, so you do the ma well, i thought it was great. nicole is a fantastic artist, especially when it comes to self-portraits & animals, & as this is a memoir full to the gills with dogs & chickens, i thought it was really beautiful. i also can hardly fathom the amount of work that must go into creating a 200+-page graphic memoir.full disclosure: i have known nicole for a long time. we first met before she ever moved to portland, when we were both teenagers. we are both now in our mid-30s, so you do the math. but i am not just saying, "this book is awesome because my friend wrote it!" nicole & i have never been tight bros or anything. i just honestly think this book is good.all her life, nicole's mother & sisters have told her that her father died of colon cancer when she was a baby, before she could form any memories of him. but when a friend takes her to a palm reader for her birthday, the palm reader tells her that her father is alive. she sits on that information for a year before, finally, having it confirmed by her older sister. & then she's in a conundrum? should she try to find the guy? should she confront her mother about the lie? that's all i will say. the most common complaint i'm seeing about this book is that is lacks emotional resonance & feels unresolved. this is where maybe my perspective is being colored by the fact that i know nicole. maybe i'm cutting her more slack than i would some other author that i don't know. but my response to that criticism is: imagine being led to believe for your entire life that your father is dead. & then learning that he's not. & that the only parent you've ever known has just been lying to all your life. isn't that emotionally resonant enough on its own? what resolution could there really be to such a situation that would make the story feel "finished"? perhaps nicole goes on the occasional tangent about fostering unclaimed chickens or how she became a karaoke host or mishaps on tour, but...i guess all i can say is that i enjoyed it. i felt it gave the book some flavor & atmosphere.
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  • Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
    February 11, 2015
    Nicole Georges grew up believing that her father was dead. But one day, while in her 20s, a palm reader ominously hints that her real father is alive. Of course, she isn't someone who buys into anything fortune tellers say but she couldn't help but think about her real father (her mother had since lived with and/or married several men).Her mother isn't the kind of person one could just ask about her father, so she had to try different approaches. One of her sisters suddenly seemed to want to mee Nicole Georges grew up believing that her father was dead. But one day, while in her 20s, a palm reader ominously hints that her real father is alive. Of course, she isn't someone who buys into anything fortune tellers say but she couldn't help but think about her real father (her mother had since lived with and/or married several men).Her mother isn't the kind of person one could just ask about her father, so she had to try different approaches. One of her sisters suddenly seemed to want to meet her to discuss her father and around this time, she falls in love with Radar, a singer who encourages her to find out the secret about her father.The title of this book really refers to a radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who happens to be someone Nicole and her mom listened to often, but whose impact to the story is limited to a few pages in the book. The book had a lot more going for it than just what the talk show host says to Nicole. Throughout the book, Nicole struggles with her identity, her being a lesbian, her idea of a father, and her relationships with her mom, her sisters, and Radar. A lot of it screams dysfunctional family out loud and makes you feel sad for Nicole. Radar is the most important person in Nicole's life at the time of these events, but even this relationship begins to get affected by Nicole's obsessions and insecurities.I wasn't a big fan of this graphic memoir. It jumps too often in time and the chapters are too small and jarring. Maybe this is a book better enjoyed when reading it a second time. While I didn't love the artwork too much initially, I came to enjoy it over time. Not that the drawing is bad - it is pretty good. But I didn't find it contributing to the story too much.
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  • Robbins Library
    August 13, 2013
    Calling Dr. Laura is a graphic memoir along the lines of David Smalls' Stitches. Nicole George grew up in a family that was keeping a major secret from her: her mother told Nicole that her dad, David, was dead. The rest of the family, including Nicole's two older half-sisters, kept the secret for years, until one day Nicole's friend Verona takes her to a palm reader for her birthday, and the psychic tells Nicole that her father is still alive.Thus begins a slow journey to discover the truth abou Calling Dr. Laura is a graphic memoir along the lines of David Smalls' Stitches. Nicole George grew up in a family that was keeping a major secret from her: her mother told Nicole that her dad, David, was dead. The rest of the family, including Nicole's two older half-sisters, kept the secret for years, until one day Nicole's friend Verona takes her to a palm reader for her birthday, and the psychic tells Nicole that her father is still alive.Thus begins a slow journey to discover the truth about her family, though at first Nicole is not eager to seek it out. At the same time, she is on a parallel journey, building a relationship - both romantic and musical - with a woman called Radar. The artwork is good, probably better than I can appreciate - I don't read many graphic novels and have a bad habit of focusing on the text rather than the illustrations. (I especially liked on p. 170 where, in a fight with her mother, Nicole becomes a hedgehog while her mother becomes a lion. For the most part, though, illustrations are realistic.) Dialogue, whether spoken or thought, is in normal case, and narration and captions are in upper case and/or cursive.The outcome to the truth about Nicole's father, in the epilogue, is an abrupt coda, sad but fitting. The focus of the memoir is not the secret itself, but how Nicole deals with it and how it alters her relationships with her mother and sisters."Sometimes it feels much easier to bare intensely personal information with a stranger than to tell your real friends. It's like skipping the bases of small talk and stealing home. You don't have to be emotionally accountable, because they don't know you." (p. 55)
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  • Lizzie
    January 3, 2013
    I found an advance copy of this book in my laundry room. Thanks neighbor!I liked this. It is destined to be compared to Alison Bechdel's Fun Home , so, I will say: I also liked Fun Home. Here is what these books have in common, aside from comics: coming out, unhappy childhood memories, difficult parents, and a mysterious family secret about one's father.This is a disjointed book, but fun to read. There's a few different threads that hop around, and it doesn't flow exactly? But it's good, and I I found an advance copy of this book in my laundry room. Thanks neighbor!I liked this. It is destined to be compared to Alison Bechdel's Fun Home , so, I will say: I also liked Fun Home. Here is what these books have in common, aside from comics: coming out, unhappy childhood memories, difficult parents, and a mysterious family secret about one's father.This is a disjointed book, but fun to read. There's a few different threads that hop around, and it doesn't flow exactly? But it's good, and I liked reading all of them so it didn't really matter. Mainly, there's a relationship story, a childhood story, and a family-as-adults story. None of it groundbreaking, but, who really minds that? The title scene, in which Nicole in fact does call Dr. Laura, is actually the least interesting part, which is also kind of a problem. But I enjoyed the rest of it well enough that I'd totally recommend it.As a graphic novel, I enjoyed the style a lot. The drawing of people is nice, and she has this fantastic banner-style script lettering she uses that's pretty cool. The details of the environment, though, are what's most fun! The houses she's in, the clubs, the city. There's the most truthful-looking and hilarious portrayal of angsty Portland, where people have pet chickens and five dogs apiece. I've never visited or lived in Portland, but the tone seemed true to someone who loves the place she lives enough that she gets a kick out of acknowledging its very dorky quirks.I like dorky quirks. Thumbs up. (3½, but I'm rounding up all over the place these days.)
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  • Meghan
    January 31, 2013
    Nicole had always been told by everyone in her family that her father was dead, but after a psychic tells her he is alive she finds out from her older sister that her family has been lying to her for her entire life.This book opens with Nicole and another girl on a date in Portland in the early 2000s, at her house making a recipe for peanut butter cups from the ubiquitous vegan cookbook of those days. That recipe was/is fucking awesome, by the way, mixing the peanut butter with crushed graham cr Nicole had always been told by everyone in her family that her father was dead, but after a psychic tells her he is alive she finds out from her older sister that her family has been lying to her for her entire life.This book opens with Nicole and another girl on a date in Portland in the early 2000s, at her house making a recipe for peanut butter cups from the ubiquitous vegan cookbook of those days. That recipe was/is fucking awesome, by the way, mixing the peanut butter with crushed graham crackers to get just the right texture. I immediately felt at home in the book. This memoir uses the trappings of young adulthood in Portland - backyard chickens and bands and roommates - to tell a pretty amazing and delicate story of what happens when Nicole finds out that her dad didn't die of cancer when she was a baby. It's also about the process of coming out, and how to deal with confrontation and trauma when, like, your mom is difficult and pushy but your girlfriend is pressuring you to pursue the truth about your father and you're just not ready. It's much less wordy than Fun Home but it's just as sophisticated in its own way. I was impressed by Nicole's ability to be gentle with herself and what she went through, to draw herself without judgment and to capture how she experienced her childhood and to convincingly draw herself huddled up like a tiny hedgehog. Also, she draws animals with so much love - the small dogs on the pages of this book are radiant with it.
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