Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow

Don't Go Where I Can't Follow

Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow is a spare and affecting work from Chicago comic book writer and artist Anders Nilsen. It’s snapshots of his relationship with his girlfriend Cheryl Weaver, culminating in her sudden illness and death in the winter of 2005. By no means an exhaustive memoir of their life together, instead we get illustrative moments — postcards they sent each other, a letter to his sister detailing a comically disastrous camping trip, a short list of Anders’ faults as a fiancee. And almost before it’s begun, the book is over — returning from France, Cheryl is diagnosed with cancer and then treatments fail and then she dies. To the reader, it’s devastating.

Cancer is something of a hot-button topic around our house these days, but I don’t think that’s a requirement to appreciate this book — as Anders says in his afterword, “it’s just love and loss. And everyone, for better or worse, can relate to that.”

“The new graphic memoir, “Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow,” breaks a great many rules of form, concluding with what might be the most devastating 16 panels of artwork in Anders Nilsen’s career.” [LA Times]

“It’s very difficult to deal with Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow from any sort of objective or critical viewpoint: simply put, it’s the best graphic novel to be released this year.” [Tucker Stone]

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