For a debut graphic novel, "Mother, Come Home," displays impressive ambition in both its themes and graphical storytelling. The sad story of Thomas, a little boy whose mother has died of cancer, the book focuses on Thomas' relationship with his father, who has become nearly catatonic with grief. Aside from its daring exploration of the themes of bereavement and loss, "Mother, Come Home" engages in some risky comix design. Hornschemeier's work rewards multiple readings; the colors shift according to the mood of the moment, drawing styles change when sequences move from fantasy to reality and disparate but related sequences are linked through visual motifs. Though it may be somber, "Mother, Come Home" springs to life with Hornschemeier's intelligent artistry.