Your Mother's Fox by Niv Sekar Review
Stories about road trips or journies across the United States are almost a quintessential part of American literature from Jack Kerouac's classic On The Road to a more modern take such as Jade Chang'sThe Wang's Vs. The World. Beyond literature, movies about road trips are all too common. However, in times past, most road trip novels or films featured adventurous white men. When asked about the inspiration behind Your Mother's Fox in an interview with The Comics Journal, author Niv Sekar responded saying:
"I mean — 100% the “freedom of the road” belongs to those safest in America, right? If you can walk on the highway hitchhiking, if you can sleep in your car or camp by yourself... There’s a bravura in being a woman alone (especially a brown woman) and I’m certainly drawn to accounts of solitary travel from perspectives outside the usual. And given all that, it felt only right that my main character have someone to travel with, someone big and old and more sure-footed.
And of course her identity plays into so many aspects of the story. It’s a bit of a diaspora narrative, I think (to use the term loosely) and — not that it’s made explicit in the text — there’s some tension over her sexuality. And she’s seen immediately as an outsider, or a curiosity, in some towns." (Sekar)
Niv Sekar's Your Mother's Fox is a beautifully illustrated pocket-sized comic dealing with a woman's melancholic road trip across America on a large fox that her mother brought when coming to the United States. Sekar's storytelling and illustrations bear a fantastical and somewhat sorrowful tone all throughout the journey of a nameless young woman only labeled in the second person as "you". Although it served to create a sense of intimacy at times, it felt out of place at times too. Despite this, Sekar does a wonderful job conveying the woman's struggles as she travels. In some towns, she is viewed immediately as an outsider as a feeling of tension dominates those panels.
Sekar uses the symbolism of her fox to create an intricate depiction of the American Dream. When asked about the what the fox meant to Sekar, she responded saying:
"Not to be too abstract, but I often thought of the fox is as a dream. The American dream, maybe, or even more specifically, my parent’s early dream of who I might be. A dream that belonged to just them, that served them well, that shaped me in many ways. A dream that I wish were mine."
Overall, Niv Sekar's Your Mother's Fox is a short and whimsical story that also provides a distinctly unique perspective on the American dream and the minority experience living and traveling around the nation. It is an interesting and compelling read which I found quite enjoyable.