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In Parallel, creator Matthias Lehmann deftly explores the complexities of being gay at a time when queer relationships were forbidden. Torn between his longing for a family and his simultaneous desire for gay love, Karl Kling hides his homosexuality from his wife and child while pursuing male romances in 1950s Germany.
Karl Kling's story is one of revelations, and these he has addressed in a letter to his daughter, Hella, who had disowned Karl many years ago. Karl's letter is a cri de coeur from a father to a daughter he never really got to know, and he comes clean to her about his failed marriages, his fractured family relations--and his love for men.
Taking place between the end of World War II and the 1980s, Parallel chronicles Karl's efforts to comply with social norms in order to keep his sexuality a secret. It also paints a picture of a life torn between conformity and rebellion, and the cruel realities of twentieth-century German society, where homosexuality was proscribed and punishable until 1994. Matthias Lehmann poignantly depicts the story of a decades-long yearning to live an open and free life, and the price Karl and those he loves must pay for it. It is also a story of finding the courage to finally tell the truth no matter the obstacles...or the cost.
About the Author
Matthias Lehmann, born in Leipzig in 1983, completed his studies and master's degree at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. He drew the comic Claude Monet (Prestel Verlag), publishes zines, and is regularly featured in the German comic anthology Jazam. In 2018, he was one of the finalists for the Comic Book Prize of the Berthold Leibinger Foundation for Parallel, and in 2019, he received the Ginco Award for the Best Short Comic. He lives in Germany.
"A moving portrait of a man at odds with society's harsh punishment of those it refuses to understand."
'A somber, compassionate remembrance of life in the closet."
— —Kirkus Reviews