Graphic novel-Adventures Close to home by Alexandra Simane

graphic novel

Adventures Close to Home  is the graphic novel of Alexandra Simane. It is the illustrated, social realist, diachronic history of Aurora’s underground punk-rock scene. Narrated in first person, as the love story between the author and her husband Josh, the autobiography is written in medias res via flashbacks.

Alexandra Simane is a painter too and she designed her graphic novel.

Obviously, it’s the story of her life. Maybe it’s the story of your life…


In 2009 she started writing the graphic novel ”Adventures Close to Home” because of her grandmother…

“When I was 17 years old in 1998, my grandmother read my diary. By transforming the shame I once felt into a joy for all to read…I have created this graphic novel. Rest in Peace Yiayia”

simane2The characters of the graphic novel are referred to only by first name or nickname and include her family, former and current friends, rivals, former lovers, crushes and others.

The chapters of the graphic novel ”Adventures Close to Home” reflect true events written during her undergraduate and graduate career at Northern Illinois University. All characters describe the author’s idiosyncratic logic and her wrong perceptions.

From 2009 to 2015 she published three versions of the graphic novel “Adventures Close To Home”, two in English and one translated into Greek, fully illustrated.

panelsEvery episode is preceded and accompanied by a panel of about four images.The panels are a collage of disparate images from google in order to emphasize the banality of ensuing circumstances in each episode.

The synthesis of popular global web imagery bring familiarity to the reader who might be unaware of either the themes or references. It’s a way for the reader to explore the historical events, fashion trends, slang terms, musical genres, critical cultural, phenomena, films, artists, bands, geography, metaphor, as well as to revisit their own cognitive associations between visual stimuli and preconceived meaning.

simane9Themes of the graphic novel ”Adventures Close to Home” include social organization and hierarchy, family, diaspora, trans-nationalism, unemployment, poverty, bartering, disordered eating, drug addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, gender, sexual orientation, obesity, ethnicity, education, sub-cultural sartorial self-identification by means of self-mutilation, rejection of the status quo, and the simultaneous desire to achieve socioeconomic mobility. Ending in hope for a better life and the inevitability of death.

”LIFE. LOVE. DEATH. DOUBT. Everything else is chaos. Pairs of antonyms uttered as the axioms of a distorted mind trying to sort through my fragmented family’s transnational tri-cultural life’s work and legacy. Adventures close to, but never quite at, home.”


Alexandra Simane has self-published her graphic novel in three different versions.

The graphic novel ”Adventures close to home”, will be published soon in

For the impatient readers… information, excerpts and videos click here

To see biography of Alexandra Simane click here

MAG thanks Alexandra for her trust and her kindness to share the images and the ”substance” of her graphic novel ”Adventures Close to Home”…

Watch all animated trailers:

Gallery – Adventure Close to Home

Vana Gkora, 4 July, 2017


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