reviews > Detroit, MI

Anne Weber makes mini-comics and hand-drawn maps. Somewhere in between these two forms lies what neurologists call a cognitive map, a way of mentally representing the information and experiences of everyday life. What Weber delineates in her cartographies and single frame narratives is familiar and not, spoken and silent. The places of childhood figure indelibly: the house in Concord, Mass., where she grew up had a basement bomb shelter that continues to be a place of meaning. Thoreau’s famous cabin was nearby, and it’s tempting to ascribe significance to his nearness. Thoreau did not hold other people in high regard, and Weber proceeds in direct opposition: her drawings talk about human experience, relationships, dreams, fraught mental states, secret and public deaths, with candor and sensitivity. Her invented maps chart spaces that real people live in: bipolar bay, illogical elbow, and self-sabotage shoal may not be places you’d choose to visit, but being there, it helps immensely to know someone else has been there before. You’re not entirely lost.

—Lori Waxman 11/27/15 2:21 PM