When death comes too soon, fight dirty.

Feb. 4, 2021, (EUGENE, OR) — Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Kumiko is a seventy-six-year-old bisexual widow and up for anything—even a smack-down with Death. First Second Books is proud to announce, Shadow Life, a graphic novel that effortlessly blends wry, slice-of-life literary fiction with magical Miyazaki-esque elements by Japanese Canadian author, Hiromi Goto (Chorus of Mushrooms, The Kappa Child, Half World), with art from celebrated Ignatz-nominated cartoonist and illustrator Ann Xu (Measuring Up).

When Kumiko’s well-meaning adult daughters place her in an assisted living home she gives it a try, but it just doesn’t feel right. She goes on the lam, setting up a cozy bachelor apartment, keeping the location secret even while communicating online with her eldest. Kumiko revels in the small, daily pleasures: decorating as she pleases, eating what she wants, and swimming in the community pool. But something has followed her from her former residence…

Kumiko’s sweet life is shattered when Death’s shadow swoops in to take her. With her quick mind and sense of humour, Kumiko, with the help of friends new and old, is prepared for the fight of her life. But how long can an old woman thwart fate?

An adventure unlike anything you’ve seen before, plunge into Kumiko’s world.

“Sharing Shadow Life with everyone brings me such joy!” said Hiromi Goto. “Ann Xu has done a brilliant job bringing Kumiko to life on the page. If there is a heroism I can believe in, it is the heroism of older women. During times of struggle and uncertainty, I hope Kumiko’s story will bring laughter, light, and solace. Hope.”

“In a sea of media where less often seen characters are easily reduced to tropes, Kumiko and her loved ones are tenderly written, fully realized people,” said Ann Xu. “I loved creating the art for such a resonant story, and I hope readers of Shadow Life can also enjoy getting lost in its richly whimsical, suspenseful world.”

 

Subtle, beautiful representations of age/ing, race, queer identities, and body image, Shadow Life is slated for release March 30, 2021.

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When death comes too soon, fight dirty. Feb. 4, 2021, (EUGENE, OR) — Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Kumiko is a seventy-six-year-old bisexual widow and up for anything—even a smack-down with Death. First Second Books is proud to announce, Shadow Life, a graphic novel that effortlessly blends...