in progress

graphic novel Look

the heist genre gets a much-needed update.


Plans for a major heist are complicated when a thief’s wife disappears.


intergenerational violence; art and capital; deromanticizing policing; romantic relationships with traumatized partners; cultural taboos around emotionally abusive parenting, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD)

narrative problems

Social media pressures desire for protagonist’s arrest, all as he navigates nightmares lead by an Anne of Green Gables lookalike: although the stakes are high–and lingering trauma worsens his reactions to the criminal accusations–the thief still attempts a major art theft before the painting leaves the city.

Why now?

Recent successes of Gabriel Tallent’s Absolute Darling or Anna Quinn’s Night Child reveal current appetites for narratives of protagonists who survived extended periods of violence as children. However, such novels continue to rely on spectacularized moments of violence for character development–Tallent’s hero kills her father with a military-grade rifle; Quinn’s freezes to death after escaping a mental asylum–which has produced caricatures of the millions of C-PTSD survivors (and readers) among us. Look corrects this misrepresentation by presenting the mundane but significant obstacles of Complex Trauma survivors while showcasing the value of complex trauma as an engaging narrative device that can enrich, instead of destroy, its characters. In Look, readers are invited to piece together clues of Cole’s violent past to help him succeed the aftermath.

interacting, interactiVE GENRES

Look blends bildungsroman, romance, and heist genres with a new innovation: that readers may ‘listen along’ to playlists, inserted at each turn of the narrative arc, by curating on their phones. The songs are meticulously selected to produce either juxtaposition or narrative empathy, depending on the listening choices of the reader, intending to allow for multiple readings of the written and visual texts. This reader agency is amplified by several ‘found’ objects in the narrative, from kitchen notes and text screenshots to paintings and ‘interrogative’ news segments, which aim to allow the reader to piece together the final twist.


Liam Lachance

  • ‘found’ objects include diaries, text screenshots, video stills, paintings, song lyrics, news coverage, psychological theory, and original flash fiction.
  • clues in early objects allow for readers to piece together the last heist (featuring a double-twist)