Dumb chronicles Georgia Webber’s throat injury, and her rehabilitation through not speaking. Through a well-crafted visual language, Georgia tells the story of how her work, relationships with friends, and day-to-day living is dramatically altered by not being able to talk. Prose essays by writers who think deeply about vocal cords supplement each issue’s theme.
In this Retrofit/Big Planet double-issue reprint of No’s 1 & 2, we meet Georgia in May, right when her throat begins to hurt. We follow her through months of attempting to ignore the pain while waiting tables, and socializing with friends. Then, in September, Georgia is diagnosed -after an invasive inspection- as a “vocal abuser,” and is instructed not to talk for six months.
Georgia deals with the aftermath of her diagnosis, first by crying her eyes out, then figuring out how she’s going to operate in a life built around talking. She waits tables, and therefore will need to find a new job. She loves to sing, and she loves to hang out and chat with her friends. All of this needs to change.
Georgia assigns the color red to represent sound, both as speech and noise, and even her own identity. It’s a bold component that is mixed in with her black line drawings, and is use quite potently throughout both issues. Georgia also subtly draws spiky stars to represent her pain as a tangible object that can be shoved into a pocket or junk drawer, or swatted away while socializing with friends.
With essays about screaming in hardcore music by Natalie Zina Walschots, and how to care for your living musical instrument (your voice), by Madeleine Palmer.