Houses of the Holy


14.00 Ounces
Adding to cart… The item has been added

Softcover, 6 x 9 in, 240 pages

"Skaalrud’s graphic and poetic expressions of inner turmoil are affecting and honest, built over time through a collection of moody visual hints that point to mysterious past events in the heroine’s life."—Publishers Weekly

A young woman undertakes a Dantean journey into the center of her psyche. Every door she encounters opens labyrinthine viewing galleries, macabre installations, and occult rituals where nothing is as it seems. Answers lead to more questions. She must abandon her false self—through despair and selfsurrender—on the way to an encounter with the inner void. Houses of the Holy is a nightmarish vision of the timeless psychic struggle that makes us human.

Caitlin Skaalrud is a cartoonist, organizer, teacher, aspiring astrologist, and publisher behind comics micro-press Talk Weird Press in Minneapolis, where she lives with her partner and a cat named Howl. She is a recipient of a 2012 Xeric Self-Publishing Grant for Sea Change: A Choose-Your-Own-Way Story. Her first word was Batman

"Variations of the phrase “Doesn’t your heart break?” appear throughout the book, and it seems that the intense labor of making these drawings–the sheer, physical labor to create something beautifully decorative– had an almost ritualistic quality. In other words, the decorative aspects of the book blend in with the poetic and metaphorical moments regarding accepting death’s inevitability while coming to terms with one’s own existence, grief, pain, and mental illness in the moment."—Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

"Skaalrud brings life closer to the artifice of drama. She imbues the minutiae with spectacle and grandeur."—Onion AV Club

"Her style being […] more like Charles Burns raised on manga and woodcuts — what Skaalrud creates in Houses Of The Holy feels entirely new. Appropriating imagery from dark fantasy, paganism, and what seem like previously-undiscovered Jungian archetypes, Skaalrud codifies her own strange symbology immediately. […] Houses Of The Holy […] is remarkably beautiful. But it’s an odd, peculiar, damaged kind of beauty, revealed through an emotional ordeal of painful and confrontational images."—Comics Alliance

"I've rarely seen a comic that so deftly merges its decorative, metaphorical, and poetic aspects."—Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

"Skaalrud's drawing is so sharp and visceral […] It’s the mind and body laid bare to itself and the reader.”—Foxing Quarterly

"It's a mysterious presentation — a two dimensional art installation skillfully rendered in real world terms […] Skaalrud’s book is a triumph and not like anything else.”—John Seven, Vermicious