Day 2: John, Dear

John, Dear by Laura Lannes

Unnamed protagonist is in love with John. He is her anchor, her tether to this world. Her mother has just died. When she declares her love for him aloud, he tells her he loves her too, and that she’s still beautiful despite her skin condition. What skin condition? she was unaware of any condition. She sneaks out to the bathroom to find holes in her.

The art is entirely done in black and white tones, often gray on black pages that require the reader to pause to fully absorb the images. We’re in horror movie territory where we rarely get an unobstructed view of the monster.

John is supportive and awful. “In a way, this makes you more special to me. I’m the only one who see you for who you are under that.” He offers to marry her so he can put her on his insurance. His undercuts every kindness presented with a comment that controls or belittles her. He moves in and has her quit her job. All the while, the woman is losing more of herself. The disease is literally removing pieces of her, while her identity is lost with only John as a connection to the outside, and she sees less and less of him, waking only when he’s asleep, and maybe he’s not coming home at all anymore?

Lannes site with a few excerpted pages: https://www.lauralannes.com/john-dear

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