Tender (Hardcover)

Tender By Beth Hetland Cover Image

Tender (Hardcover)


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(Graphic Novels-Fic)

A psychological thriller about a woman obsessed with her vision for a picture-perfect, curated life.

Carolanne wanted a perfect wedding, a perfect husband, a perfect family. She carefully performs her own roles (gal pal, bestie, girlfriend, wife, and expectant mother) and in trying to enact agency over her life, sacrifices it completely. Her desire to control the uncontrollable ultimately becomes her undoing. When things don't go her way, she exerts dominance over the one thing she does have total control over: her body; until that "betrays" her. After suffering a horrible loss, Carolanne spirals into a literal, all-consuming delusion that will engross comics readers and horror aficionados alike.

Chicago cartoonist and educator Beth Hetland’s graphic novel debut is a brilliant psychological thriller that tears down the wall of a genre — body horror — so often identified with male creators. Heady and visceral, Tender uses horrific tropes to confront women’s societal expectations of self-sacrifice despite those traditional roles often coming at the expense of female sexuality and empowerment.

Beth Hetland is a Professor, Adj. at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she teaches several comics and comics adjacent courses. She holds an MFA (2011) from The Center for Cartoon Studies and BFA (2009) from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Product Details ISBN: 9781683969358
ISBN-10: 1683969359
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 162
Language: English
Terrific debut graphic novel...
— The New York Times Book Review

Hetland gets under the skin in her nimble and unsettling graphic novel debut. ... [Her] ability to maintain a sinister atmosphere in scenes both mundane and monstrous will keep horror fans turning the pages.
— Publishers Weekly

A strong debut with powerful visual storytelling, Tender digs into the existential dread of getting everything that you thought you wanted and still not being satisfied.

— Diabolique Magazine

Tender is full of beautiful, gross, expressive artwork that makes the reader squirm in their seat.

— Bloody Disgusting

A brutal critique of gender roles, social media, cultural pressures & expectations, Tender is a triumph.

— Rob Clough - High Low Comics

An incredibly paced horror story that's equal parts sardonic, gruesome, and tender. A Jeanne Dielman for the Instagram generation.

— Katie Skelly

If you enjoy reading stories with ambiguity, disappointments, and people making bad choices—you know, like real life—then you might like this book.
— Third Coast Review

Damn near perfect.
— Cinema Sentries