Dare to Disappoint charts the trajectory of Turkish multimedia artist Ozge Samanci as she struggles with a nation slowly realizing its identity. Released by Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar Straus Giroux this week, the graphic novel sports illustrations that can only described as pretty damn adorable. Samanci employs a limited color palate over squiggly renditions of her adolescent self, surrounded by the occasional photograph or infographic. So when the artist tackles Turkey’s late 20th-century succession of military coups and leftist witch hunts, the contrasting tones show the severity of these macro movements in the whimsical eyes of a child who frequently talks to her Jacques Cousteau poster.
Looming behind each panel lies a greater conflict: Samanci’s growing obligation to appease her father through a pragmatic career and marriage. The graphic novel’s existence serves as its own spoiler, but the journey is equally charming and arresting. Like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and James Kochalka’s American Elf, Dare to Disappoint frames the epic through the intimate, offering a sterling experience of startling vulnerability and lasting impression. Check out Paste’s exclusive preview below.