'Don't Go Without Me' Makes Rosemary Valero-O'Connell as a Comic Talent to Watch

Don't Go Without Me Preview - ShortBox -Publicity - H 2020
Rosemary Valero-O'Connell/ShortBox
The artist of 'Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me' stretches herself in the solo anthology, now available widely.

Rosemary Valero-O’Connell is a cartoonist who finished 2019 as a name on a lot of people’s lips, thanks to her artwork in Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, the much-lauded queer romance graphic novel from First Second that topped a number of best-of lists. Her new release builds on that success and further establishes her as a creator to be reckoned with, and The Hollywood Reporter has a preview.

Bringing together three short stories about love, absence and the need for connection — including the Eisner-nominated What Is Left, originally published as a stand-alone volume in 2017 and excerpted below — Don’t Go Without Me is a book that doesn’t just demonstrate Valero-O’Connell’s delicate line work and subtle use of color; it also shows off her strengths as a writer, with her handling all creative duties on each of the three pieces.

In addition to What Is Left, the 124-page collection includes the title story and “Con Temor, Con Ternura.”

Talking about the volume, Valero-O’Connell told THR, “This collection lives and breathes in the questions that arise when we think about what aspects of ourselves live and remain in other people, even after we're no longer present, and how our relationships with our community, our family, and our lovers both reflect and give shape to our own lives.”

The collection debuted at the end of last year available only to those who’d backed the original Kickstarter campaign to fund it; it’s now available on wide release via ShortBox’s webstore.

Read on for an exclusive excerpt of What Is Left.