The comics world had one more reason to mourn this past weekend. Celebrated artist Geneviève Castrée Elverum died of pancreatic cancer on July 9, 2016. Best known as a musician who recorded under the names Woelv and Ô Paon, Elverum was the author of Susceptible, published by Drawn & Quarterly in 2013. She was 35.
Originally from Canada, Elverum was born in Loretteville, Quebec in 1981 but eventually settled in the United States. She was married to the American musician Phil Elverum, and the two had one child. Four months later, in May 2015, Geneviève was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A GoFundMe page was set up, which managed to raise almost $200,000 in a little more than one month.
Elverum's comics output had been as vast as it was deep. She began publishing mini-comics as a teenager in Canada, later putting out work for well-regarded publishing houses L'Oie de Cravan and Drawn & Quarterly. She created the comic strip "Blankets Are Always Sleeping" for D&Q's anniversary anthology, which was posthumously excerpted by The New York Times. Susceptible was her debut graphic novel and a testament to her staggering talent. It tells the story of a young woman named Goglu who navigates a harsh home life and has to grow up far too quickly. It was nominated for an Outstanding Graphic Novel Ignatz Award, a Doug Wright Award for Best Book, and a Young Adult Library Services Association Award for Best Graphic Novel for Teens. It was named one of 100 young adult books to make one proud to be Canadian by CBC Books and one of the Best 100 Books of 2013 by the Globe & Mail.
Elverum was surrounded by family when she died. She is survived by all of them, but also by every person who was and ever will be touched by her art. Geneviève Castrée Elverum will be sorely missed.