Are You Listening is an odd graphic novel for the 14 to adult crowd. The oddness can only be likened to as if it was the set up to a plot of a classic Twilight Zone episode (with a few modern elements: the two main charters are lesbians and there is a modern plot point). There is much build up but then nothing happens until the end for traditional action. It is there we get the supernatural elements hitting and hitting hard! There are creepy shadow men. A cat that might be magic. And one trippy car chase that ends up who knows where! And even though Tillie Walden’s text and illustrations are surreal at times up to then, you have had a fairly normal story up until then: Girl runs away. Conveniently, finds an older neighbor. And they are both what the other needed. It is when they find a stray cat that things go into the Fifth Dimension.
Sometimes there are a few bumps in the story making for some plot holes, but over all this story is good. It is something you experience and will either come out feeling like you read something crazy good or crazy bad. It easily could be something you think is a piece of crap, but once reread you enjoy it. The ending has a slight question that could easily be me overthinking things, but also could be a set up for future stories (even if as a side story in another book).
I read a reader copy so there were only a few colored illustrations for the first handful of pages, but the black and white ones work well for the story. I think color could ruin it. Yet, I am curious about what they will become.
Due September 2019