Fetch
From an award-winning artist, a memoir of life with a difficult, beloved dog that will resonate with anybody who has ever had a less than perfectly behaved pet When Nicole Georges was sixteen she adopted Beija, a dysfunctional shar-pei/corgi mix—a troublesome combination of tiny and attack, just like teenaged Nicole herself. For the next fifteen years, Beija would be the one constant in her life. Through depression, relationships gone awry, and an unmoored young adulthood played out against the backdrop of the Portland punk scene, Beija was there, wearing her “Don’t Pet Me” bandana.   Georges’s gorgeous graphic novel Fetch chronicles their symbiotic, codependent relationship and probes what it means to care for and be responsible to another living thing—a living thing that occasionally lunges at toddlers. Nicole turns to vets, dog whisperers, and even a pet psychic for help, but it is the moments of accommodation, adaption, and compassion that sustain them. Nicole never successfully taught Beija “sit,” but in the end, Beija taught Nicole how to stay.

Fetch Details

TitleFetch
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJul 18th, 2017
PublisherMariner Books
ISBN0544577833
ISBN-139780544577831
Number of pages328 pages
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Animals, Dogs

Fetch Review

  • Chelsey
    April 24, 2017
    A beautiful, often hilarious portrait of an unpredictable childhood and a complicated yet magical queer punk coming-of-age in Portland in the early millennium, all through the author's relationships to animals--most significantly her difficult, damaged, beloved soulmate dog Beija. The drawing is wonderful, the storytelling captivating, and the ending is somehow both heartbreaking and heart-repairing. (I wept.) Captures a time and a scene and a personal experience so beautifully, both visually an A beautiful, often hilarious portrait of an unpredictable childhood and a complicated yet magical queer punk coming-of-age in Portland in the early millennium, all through the author's relationships to animals--most significantly her difficult, damaged, beloved soulmate dog Beija. The drawing is wonderful, the storytelling captivating, and the ending is somehow both heartbreaking and heart-repairing. (I wept.) Captures a time and a scene and a personal experience so beautifully, both visually and textually.
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  • Kelly
    July 13, 2017
    oh h*ck.(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review. Trigger warning for allusions to rape, child abuse, domestic violence, animal abuse, alcoholism, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.)I first discovered Nicole Georges's artwork nestled within the pages of Bitch Magazine . Instantaneously smitten, my adoration only grew when I learned that Georges was a vegan who referred to her furry sidekick Beija as her "canine life partner." Her 2010 Invincible Summer Queer Animal Odysse oh h*ck.(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review. Trigger warning for allusions to rape, child abuse, domestic violence, animal abuse, alcoholism, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.)I first discovered Nicole Georges's artwork nestled within the pages of Bitch Magazine . Instantaneously smitten, my adoration only grew when I learned that Georges was a vegan who referred to her furry sidekick Beija as her "canine life partner." Her 2010 Invincible Summer Queer Animal Odyssey calendar still rests in the plastic protective covering it arrived in. (Don't worry, I take it out every once in awhile for much-deserved admiration.) I enjoyed her debut graphic novel, Invincible Summer: An Anthology , well enough, though haven't quite gotten around to reading Calling Dr. Laura . Even so, I can say with 99.9% certainty that Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home is her best work yet. For my Noodle, Mags.------------------------------ At the tender age of sixteen, Georges adopted a dog as a gift for her then-boyfriend and first love, Tom. The ensuing back-and-forth demonstrates why you should never give a dog as a gift: despite clearing it ahead of time with Tom's mother, Tom's stepfather did not sign off on the deal. Nicole's mom reluctantly allowed her to keep the dog, but Beija's many behavioral problems quickly wore her patience thin. Beija harbored an intense dislike/fear of men, children, and veterinarians; did not enjoy being picked up or touched on her sides; did not suffer invasions of space lightly; and frequently antagonized/was victimized by other dogs. She was temperamental and required patience, compassion, and understanding - much like her new human. And so, in a situation so weird and improbable that it seems like the plot of a bad Fox sitcom, you have both sets of parents conspiring to push their teenagers out of the nest and into a seedy apartment, just so they could have a Beija-free home: "Starting now, this gift would change the course of both our lives. [...] All of this in order to keep the dog. As if we'd had a teen pregnancy." While Nicole's relationship with Tom would soon implode, her partnership with Bejia proved to be for keeps. Through unhealthy relationships, annoying roommates, professional upheavals, and the trials and tribulations of growing up and discovering oneself, there was one constant in Nicole life. And if she just so happened to have four legs, a soft tummy, and spoke in a series of barks, whimpers, and tail wags, so what? Family is what you make of it. Fetch is Rennie-approved. ------------------------------ Most of the blurbs I've read so far focus on the coming-of-age aspect of Fetch (e.g., it's not "just" a book about a dog). And while it is indeed that - after all, at the time of her death, Beija had lived with Nicole for almost exactly half of Nicole's life - to me Fetch is, above all else, a love letter to and everlasting celebration of a best friend. A soul mate. A patronus, to quote Georges. (A daemon, in my vocab.) The dogs, they will always come first. PRIORITIES.There's this one Mutts comic I love: It's a lovely day, and Ozzie is walking Earl on a long leash. A little heart bobs in a thought bubble above the human's head. To the right is a quote by one W.R. Purche: "Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong." To borrow a phrase from an online friend (Marji Beach, who works at another awesome animal sanctuary called Animal Place), it's clear that Nicole considers Beija the best worst dog ever. Their love for one another shines through every panel and page, making the inevitable goodbye that much more heartbreaking. It took me a full week to read the book, just because I couldn't bear to face the last forty pages. I think it's safe to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to Fetch, and animal lovers will take something a little extra special away from their experience. When I say "animal lovers," I mean both in the conventional sense - i.e., those who care for culturally appropriate animals, such as dogs, cats, horses, and rabbits - as well as those of use who extend that circle of compassion to all nonhumans. There are precious few comic books that I could call overtly vegan - only two come to mind, namely Matt Miner's Liberator and The Animal Man by Grant Morrison - and I'm happy to add Fetch to the list. While Georges only drops the v*-word (vegetarian or vegan) a handful of times, she does introduce readers to animal rights issues in a gentle, subtle way. If you're not on the lookout (and I always am!), you might just miss it. Though all the better to sneak into your subconscious, worming and niggling and prodding you to think about the face on your plate or the skin on your back ... to see them as someones rather than somethings, more alike than different from the dog snuggled up next to you or fast asleep at your feet. Full disclosure: In between bites of spider trappings, Rennie assisted me in writing this review. ------------------------------ I especially loved Bejia's manifesto, "I am not a stuffed animal," which surreptitiously introduces readers to the idea of intersectionality: "It's kind of like feminism, but for dogs." That line (along with countless others) literally had me squealing for joy. Little Beija-Boo - is she a shar pei-doxy mix? corgi and beagle? who knows! - is adorable and tubby, even as she's telling you to back the fuck off. I could go on and on - about the many weird parallels between Georges's life and mine; about how I see pieces of Bejia in my own dogs; about the many ways, both large and small, that my loved ones and I have adapted our everyday routines and very existences to better accommodate our four-legged family members - but suffice it to say that Fetch is a must-read for anyone who's ever loved (and lost) a dog (though you may want to wait until the loss isn't quite so fresh - the ending is freaking brutal). Ditto: anyone who just likes good storytelling or quirky artwork. I know I've focused on the nonhumans for most of my review - hey, that's how I do - but even those rare scenes sans doggos are beautifully rendered and engaging. In summary: Fetch is easily my favorite book of 2017 thus far, graphic novel or no.Aaaaand just in case the previous 1,000 words didn't convince you, here are a few of my favorite panels to help seal the deal. (That last one? So charming that it displaced foster doggy as the background on my desktop. Temporarily, but still.) http://www.easyvegan.info/2017/07/18/...
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  • Sam
    May 28, 2017
    Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!I knew this book was going to emotionally wreck me. This is the story of Nicole J. Georges and her dog, Beija. Beija is a shar-pei/corgi mix with some behavioral troubles. She's not comfortable with people petting her, she's somewhat aggressive when people emit different kinds of energy levels. She is constantly told by people that she is a horrible, no good, bad dog. However, reading this graphic memoir you can see through Nicole George's perspective tha Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!I knew this book was going to emotionally wreck me. This is the story of Nicole J. Georges and her dog, Beija. Beija is a shar-pei/corgi mix with some behavioral troubles. She's not comfortable with people petting her, she's somewhat aggressive when people emit different kinds of energy levels. She is constantly told by people that she is a horrible, no good, bad dog. However, reading this graphic memoir you can see through Nicole George's perspective that Beija is also a misunderstood dog.As someone who owns a bulldog, I actually found myself understanding where the author was coming from. It's hard because in some circumstances you understand why people see and say what they do when they think something is wrong with a dog's behavior, but the fault in that is that often people don't give certain breeds of dog a chance to become better. It's very evident in this story how much the author loved her dog and how much her dog helped me with a dark period of her life. Animals have magic powers in this regard, they know when their companion needs them and will do anything to try and make things better. I also loved the artwork in this graphic memoir. It's got great visual appeal and the author does an amazing job of illustrating the story that she wanted to tell. I really loved this story, and I definitely want to check out more of Nicole J Georges graphic memoirs. Fetch is both funny as it is heartbreaking, and if you are an animal lover and owner it will probably make you cry. I know I did.
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  • Sassafras Lowrey
    July 20, 2017
    i have been waiting for this book to come out. i pre-ordered as soon as i could, and when it arrived i started reading immediately. i ended up reading the whole book in less than a day because i just couldn't stop myself. this book is heartbreaking and beautiful and brilliant and i loved everything about it. if you love dogs (especially difficult ones), zines, queers and coming of age memoir you really have to read this book.i've been reading Nicole J Georges zines for years and years and have a i have been waiting for this book to come out. i pre-ordered as soon as i could, and when it arrived i started reading immediately. i ended up reading the whole book in less than a day because i just couldn't stop myself. this book is heartbreaking and beautiful and brilliant and i loved everything about it. if you love dogs (especially difficult ones), zines, queers and coming of age memoir you really have to read this book.i've been reading Nicole J Georges zines for years and years and have always loved her dog stories best of all. so thrilled to have this book on my shelf
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  • Matthew Hernandez
    July 19, 2017
    I have been a fan of Nicole Georges since her first graphic memoir, “Calling Dr. Laura.” While I was not bothered by the more haphazard narrative style of that first book (at some points I even enjoyed it), I still recognize that it was not the most coherent narrative. While touching and personal, it still seemed a bit at a distance. Georges latest, “Fetch”, however, is incredibly tight narratively. There is a coherent movement of events from when and why she adopted her dog Beija through all th I have been a fan of Nicole Georges since her first graphic memoir, “Calling Dr. Laura.” While I was not bothered by the more haphazard narrative style of that first book (at some points I even enjoyed it), I still recognize that it was not the most coherent narrative. While touching and personal, it still seemed a bit at a distance. Georges latest, “Fetch”, however, is incredibly tight narratively. There is a coherent movement of events from when and why she adopted her dog Beija through all the (mis)adventures she went on with her. Furthermore, this task was accomplished in an incredibly personal and intimate way.If you read “Calling Dr. Laura”, you have some sense of the difficulties Georges has faced in her life, but you don’t get a true sense of how they affected her. “Fetch” digs into these things: her childhood, the confusion around her own sexuality, her struggle with both romantic and platonic relationships, etc. So, while the star of the book is definitely Beija, the story is just as much about Georges’ ability to overcome the problematic relationship styles that were modeled to her as a child and grow into a more emotionally intelligent person.The book shows an incredible amount of reflection and honesty on Georges’ part, while simultaneously being an enjoyable read. She continues to be one of the best comic artists at utilizing the form of the comic to serve the narrative (something she does incredibly well in “Calling Dr. Laura” as well). The images are beautiful and—when they need to be—powerful.Overall, the book is incredibly positive, beautiful, and gives lots to think about regarding how we emotionally involve ourselves interpersonally with others: human and dog alike.
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  • Lynn
    July 12, 2017
    This graphic memoir made me laugh out loud, smile when I recognized similar life experiences, empathize with Nicole, the author, and cry when her dog, Beija died. I read the book more slowly than I usually do so I could savor every graphic and the writing. Nicole tells her life story beginning with her adoption of a dog at 16 and to the point in which her dogs dies. She admittedly leaves out some details to focus solely on her life with Beija who was a rescue dog from an animal shelter and proba This graphic memoir made me laugh out loud, smile when I recognized similar life experiences, empathize with Nicole, the author, and cry when her dog, Beija died. I read the book more slowly than I usually do so I could savor every graphic and the writing. Nicole tells her life story beginning with her adoption of a dog at 16 and to the point in which her dogs dies. She admittedly leaves out some details to focus solely on her life with Beija who was a rescue dog from an animal shelter and probably not the best choice, at least for most people. Beija barked and bit people at times and fought with other dogs, at times. Nicole grew up in a family in which she was the late child and interest in raising her had passed. Mom had other things to do and Nicole didn't even attend school often. In planning to go to college, she went to visit one with a boyfriend who fell asleep at the wheel and caused her a brain injury which seems to have preempted any hope of attending one. Nicole's life in Portland, OR with her boyfriend and others made me laugh at the common hilarity of independent living 20s style, with numerous people coming and going and income fleetingly scarce. Can't tell you the rest, read for yourself.
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  • Maia
    July 24, 2017
    An emotional story of a decade long friendship between the author and a prickly, defensive, badly-behaved and demanding dog. Nicole adopted Beija at 17, and they were companions through many huge life changes. Nicole moved with her first love half way across the country to Portland, OR, began a career as an indie cartoonist, broke up, came out as a lesbian and discovered a shattering family secret. All the while Beija was was by her side, teaching her both how to show love and how to set up pers An emotional story of a decade long friendship between the author and a prickly, defensive, badly-behaved and demanding dog. Nicole adopted Beija at 17, and they were companions through many huge life changes. Nicole moved with her first love half way across the country to Portland, OR, began a career as an indie cartoonist, broke up, came out as a lesbian and discovered a shattering family secret. All the while Beija was was by her side, teaching her both how to show love and how to set up personal boundaries. Moved me to unexpected tears.
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  • Lucy
    July 25, 2017
    Touching story of a girl becoming a young woman with help from her dog.
  • Robert
    May 17, 2017
    A dog-oriented graphic memoir from that fine Portland-based cartoonist, Nicole Georges. Full review on tcj is here: http://bit.ly/2slD8RO
  • Caitlyn
    July 27, 2017
    Hilarious, poignant, heart-breakingly real story of a girl and her dog. This touched my heart in a way that only animals can. Georges explores feminism, love, and what it means to value your own needs over others in this lovely black-and-white graphic memoir. All of her exploration is reflected in Beija, her fierce companion through the most definitive moments of her life. As the story expanded, I felt like I understood both Nicole and Beija the way I understand myself. Even if we're not perfect Hilarious, poignant, heart-breakingly real story of a girl and her dog. This touched my heart in a way that only animals can. Georges explores feminism, love, and what it means to value your own needs over others in this lovely black-and-white graphic memoir. All of her exploration is reflected in Beija, her fierce companion through the most definitive moments of her life. As the story expanded, I felt like I understood both Nicole and Beija the way I understand myself. Even if we're not perfect, we're great the way we are. I don't often cry while reading graphic novels, but by the end, I felt Nicole's heartbreak as if she were one of my best friends. An incredible read with an added bonus of beautiful art.
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  • Sara
    July 26, 2017
    I was expecting to enjoy Fetch, but it's so much more than an enjoyable read. I dunno, there's connection and layers of figuring shit out and acceptance and love and joy and heartache and pain. Georges' art style took me a hot second to get used to, but once I did, I really liked it. I liked the flashbacks to her childhood and her use of music, zines, and punk culture to set the stage for her life with Beija.
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  • Sladjana
    July 30, 2017
    I love Nicole J. Georges and her artwork, veganism, storytelling.
  • Psychonaut
    July 30, 2017
    4.5
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