Mother is anchor, a connection point across space and time. I perceive the death of my mother as a weight suddenly lifted; I am set adrift. This liberation is not without sorrow and fear (the falling with no parachute, the sudden change in gravity—it pulls now, harder and faster, time accelerates). I must update my understanding of familial history and my place within it. I have so long defined myself in relation to her, in reaction to her. Now what? This short comic looks at the mysterious connection between processing childhood vulnerability and trauma, more-than-human and human interdependence, and psychosomatic healing. As I’ve done in some of my previous work, by materializing thoughts as drawn and written sequential vignettes, I hope to gain and share insight about the mysterious dynamics of embodied cognition.

Author’s Note

The images included in this article are copyright © Maureen Burdock and shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. This piece will also be published as the Prologue to the graphic novel Queen of Snails, forthcoming from Graphic Mundi.

Editors’ Note

This article is part of the Rapid Responses: Comics in and of The Moment Special Collection, edited by Jeanette D’Arcy and Kay Sohini, with Ernesto Priego and Peter Wilkins.

Competing Interests

The author has no competing interests to declare.


Burdock, M. 2022. Queen of Snails: A Graphic Memoir. Graphic Mundi. Forthcoming in November 2022.