Penina Gal wrote a letter to a friend who needs to hear words of encouragement, love, and support. Through lush, welcoming pages, Penina lays out their friend’s shyness, feelings of discomfort around others, and around themselves. Penina’s friend can hear words of encouragement, and can acknowledge the support they receive from friends…but it’s a whole other thing to believe those words.
Still, Penina persists through beautiful two-page spreads of flowers, plants, flowing oceans and rivers, and the vast night sky to show love to their friend, and to support their transformation into a more confident person. Penina’s writing and drawings are simultaneously symbolic in nature, and very specific. The printing and layout of this inky risograph zine is intensely subtle and layered.
We can read this comic as either the friend in need, or the friend being relied on. We can return to its pages again and again for strength from its words among its mesmerizing drawings.