81 Responses

  1. Simon Fraser

    Very evocative of childhood and that naive intimacy.
    Lovely work Joan.

  2. Barbara

    It reminds me of when Bobby Launs moved from next door and went to Viet Nam and I was desolate. I love your work.

  3. Andrew

    this was a joy to follow - thankyou:)

  4. Snails

    The art is amazing…and it is an engaging tale…I didn’t know what was cooking in the lab with the neighbors’ stories, but now I see…You really made something from childhood noteworthy…I like the voice…

  5. Chris Brandt

    Great reminiscence on the limited world-view of childhood. Share more, please.

  6. Tim Hamilton

    Turned out to be a page turner (or page clicker as we say in the 21st century).

    I want to read more about those… neighbors.

  7. Lynn McGee

    What a tough little survivor Cass was. She’s probably out illustrating comc books somewhere. I wonder if she’s still a woman. Good work, Joan.

  8. Lynn McGee

    What a tough little survivor that Cass was. I wonder if she’s still a woman. Nice work, Joan.

  9. Hellin

    This is beautiful!!! I love it.

  10. Colleen

    Joan, this is great! I can imagine this is something almost everyone can connect with on several levels. First is that time in a child’s life when you realize everyone doesn’t have the same home life and second the first time a close friend moves away. Real and relatable. Wonderful!

  11. josh

    Excellent piece. Very evocative of a certain time and place, without being sentimental or overly nostalgic. And the art is just right.

  12. Thomas Baehr

    I’m glad you kept it in b/w. It’s just right. Great story about the helplessness of being a child - like sitting in a waiting room.

  13. Vanessa D.

    This was amazing! I have goosebumps.

  14. Rachel S

    Beautiful work! I love the honesty and vividness of Joan’s prose and art.

  15. MeGo (Melissa Gould)

    Wonderful on every level. Thank you.

  16. Joan Reilly

    Thanks so much everyone for reading and commenting!

  17. Bishakh

    Joan, this is amazing. The story is heartbreaking but clear-eyed and the drawings, especially the architecture and the basement scenes, are really evocative. I especially love the “Eeeeeeeeeah/THUD” panel.

    Can’t we get hi-horse back together?

  18. Cathryn Mazer

    Honest and moving

  19. Michel Fiffe

    My GOD, Joan. That was incredible. I feel like an ass for coming to the party late, but this one has been well worth it. It’s a crime you don’t do more comix. It’s beautiful, smart, and touching. Thank you.

  20. josh

    Hi Joan–It’s Sari on Josh’s computer. I loved this piece–the tone and the art are perfectly matched! It has something in common with the one I wrote–coming up from Josh.

  21. Serena

    Great work Joan!
    You have such a talent for capturing the innocence and yet dark side of childhood.
    Love the illustration and detail.

  22. Nathan

    Amazing work Joan! You can really “feel” it - the environment, and the emotional loss.

  23. Tim Hall

    Wow, what a story, Joan. Incredibly well thought out, detailed, and executed. Absolutely first rate.

  24. Jeanette Cheezum

    I’m still rooting for her. She has to survive.

  25. Ralph J Sciarappa

    yuck yuck, I grew up at the Cass’. Lovely story so far, don’t know if I’ll bear it

  26. mike

    Thanks and best of luck with your ‘Working’ piece.

    Studs was and is great.

    Mike Garman

  27. ant volley

    Brilliant…weirdly evocative, I’m sure this piece will resonate with anyone who has ever been a child and had that one “bestest friend”…enchanting story and beautiful art.

  28. Lorenzo Ross

    Thanks for sharing that intimate part of your childhood Joan. You have a wonderful gift and I look forward to seeing more from you.

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  43. ‘Next-Door Neighbor,’ nonfiction comics that peek past the curtains | Hero Complex – Los Angeles Times

    [...] life and absurdity, which plays well into the "Neighbor" approach; her installment, “Hank and Barbara,” tells the story of Reilly and her innocent friendship with Cass in a [...]

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