By Zoe Maeve
96 pages, 6.25×8.5 inches
duotone, trade paper
The Shining meets Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette in this gripping debut from an award-winning talent.
The Gift opens on the snow-blanketed grounds of the Alexander Palace in Western Russia where a moth has come to attend the birth of the fourth Romanov princess, Anastasia. She and her siblings grow up in a gilded world, isolated from the society beyond the palace walls despite their dominion over it. After mysteriously receiving a camera on her fifteenth birthday, she begins to document her world, but the gift carries with it a weight she can’t yet see. A creature moves on the edge of her vision and stalks her dreams. As the revolution unfolds, the confines of Anastasia’s world keep closing in. Something is following her, and it might not be human.
About Zoe Maeve
Zoe Maeve is a comics artist originally from Tkaronto/Toronto who is now based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. She studied visual arts at Concordia University, where she worked in oil painting, printmaking, and textiles before finding comics. In 2021 her first book The Gift was published by Conundrum Press and she was nominated for an Ignatz Award for Promising Young Talent. Her book July Underwater, which was the recipient of Best English Comic at the 2016 Expozine awards, will be released to a widespread audience with Conundrum Press for the first time in 2022. She currently shares her home with her partner and two feisty black cats.
Advance Praise for The Gift
“A moth drifts through a palace and we follow, entering a dreamy, surreal, and haunting imagining of the life and last days of the 4th Romanov princess, Anastasia, gorgeously penned in delicate inks. We are caught between the scenes Anastasia captures with her camera, a gift from someone unknown, and the strange figure she glimpses from the corner of her eye. Poignant and powerful, a sensual fever dream building to the inevitable tragic ending, we are enveloped in an ethereal foreboding.”
-Jo Treggiari, author of The Grey Sisters
“Both the pleasures and the eeriness of The Gift are achieved from Maeve’s meticulous attention to details– a tense glance, a long shadow, or a hand across a ruffled skirt. This comic is intriguing, unsettling and extremely beautiful.”
-Lee Lai, creator of Stone Fruit
“Maeve delicately renders the loneliness and melancholy of a doomed princess in precise, sparsely composed panels awash in the blue of a long winter dream. With its deliberate, suspenseful pacing Maeve commands a poetic mastery of the medium in The Gift.”
-Drew Shannon, co-creator of The Montague Twins