How to Survive in the North (YA)

Author(s): Luke Healy

Comics, Graphic Novels and Manga | For Everyone Over 12

1912...Captain Robert Bartlett sets sail aboard the Karluk, flagship of the Canadian Arctic Expedition. The journey ahead would be one of the most treacherous ever, with the loss of the ship and subsequent deaths of the crew. The survivors, Bartlett and an Inuk companion set out across the ice for the Siberian coast, in search of help. 1926...23-year old Inuit Ada Blackjack signs on as a seamstress for a top-secret Arctic expedition. But soon she finds herself alone and stranded in the treachorous landscape of the arctic. Present day...A disgraced university professor, tracking the lives of these survivors soon finds history repeating itself as he follows in the footsteps of those before him...With stunning narrative skill, this compelling book weaves together true life narratives from 1912, 1926 and a fictional narrative set in the present day that will take you on an unforgettable journey of love, loss and most importantly shows the strength, no matter how harsh the circumstances, it takes to survive.


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Winner of the MoCCA Fest Award of Excellence from the Society of Illustrators for Of The Monstrous Pictures of Whales

These beautifully pensive and chilly vignettes interweave history and the present, exploring the circumstances of bad decisions and the resulting consequences we face. Healy's quiet storytelling and expressive yet simple lines pull you in to the lives and experiences of these characters, both factual and fictional.--Lucy Knisley, bestselling author of Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

A thought-provoking graphic novel about the exploration of the Arctic [...] Healy's narrative gains power from the interconnecting stories and a carefully chosen thematic color palette, but above all it is powered by his brilliant handling of the wordless panels where so much of the story is told.--Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

The novel alternates among the three strands, overlapping people and events, fact and fiction, in an intricate narrative pattern of challenge, crisis, and survival for each of the three protagonists. Healy's command of visual storytelling coupled with a palette of pastels reminiscent of the northern lights provides the thread of continuity that holds the weave together. Two parts historical, one part invention, a quiet contemplation and celebration of the tenacity of the human spirit.--Kirkus Reviews

Healy's artwork, composed in many small panels, is extremely appealing, clever, and emotive [...] Healy lights his contemplation of the lure of inhospitable places and the often regrettable decisions they inspire men and women to make from an intriguing angle.--Booklist

In his quietly ambitious and intricately colour-coded debut, Irish cartoonist Luke Healy intertwines three stories of isolation and hardship, where self-preservation occurs only through unlikely friendship and inner resolve. [...] the icy clarity with which Healy retells the historical portions of his story, the resourceful and determined personalities he creates for Bartlett and Blackjack, and the stakes with which he imbues their struggles for survival, all combine to create real relief and catharsis by story's end, solemnly shaded by tragedy.--The Globe and Mail

Narratively complex and well-crafted--The Comics Reporter

This is a beautiful and quiet book.--Women Write About Comics

What made the book work was the quality of his character work, bringing Blackjack, Bartlett and Sully to life and making the supporting characters fully realized characters instead of just ciphers.--Rob Clough

STUNNING, complex, and beautiful!--Clarissa Murphy, Brookline Booksmith

Like the frigid plains it's set in, Luke Healy's graphic novel How to Survive in the North is quiet and full of introspective beauty [...] this book is sublime, as terrifying and exhilarating as it is beautiful. How to Survive in the North doesn't pull any punches, and it finds strength in the willingness to linger in quiet moments, just moments before looking death in the face.--Heavy Feather Review

Stylistic choices are front and centre in this gorgeously crafted graphic novel.--Down The Tubes

There's a wonderful depth to this book with its full-bodied scope following the rhythms of a prose novel. Healy's drawing style is economical while not missing a beat. The pacing, the light but spot on composition, and the compelling dialogue provide a rich experience. [...] reading this quirky and highly entertaining graphic novel is certainly a great idea!--Comics Grinder

This is the kind of historical fiction I want to see people writing.--Comic Bastards

An attractive book and thoroughly enjoyable and interesting tale.--Nicola Mansfield, Back To Books

Historical fiction woven with real life narratives that spans three time periods. The graphic novel brings this exciting exploration to life in a way that engaged both my twelve year old and myself and led to some exciting conversations. Beside a roaring fire is the best spot to plunge into this snowy read!--Jesica DeHart, Wandering Bookseller

How To Survive In The North is an utterly compelling read and one which is so tense and filled with icy danger that you will want to make sure you have a rescue boat (and some fur lined gloves) on standby before you get past the first few pages.--Pipedream Comics

Simply and beautifully illustrated it contains a wealth of history that made me research the histories of the characters once I had finished it. I love Luke Healey's artwork and the changing colours to denote the different expeditions and the contemporary story is an excellent idea!--Teen Librarian

A great historical graphic novel with wonderful illustrations and good information.--Curious Iguana

With a clever concept and and outstanding design, the book is fresh and fascinating addition to any bookshelf and must-read for history fans and illustration enthusiasts alike.--Headless Greg

Luke Healy's How To Survive In The North is an extremely accomplished debut graphic novel. [...] Healy is a very talented storyteller and artist, and this is a strong release.--The Quietus

Luke Healy was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. He received a BA in Journalism from Dublin City University and an MFA in Cartooning from The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. His comics work has been published in several anthologies and he has worked as a coloring assistant with Lucy Knisley on her book Something New. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

General Fields

  • : 9781910620328
  • : Nobrow Ltd
  • : Nobrow Ltd
  • : May 2017
  • : 250mm X 185mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : August 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : throughout
  • : 200
  • : Paperback
  • : Luke Healy