"Somewhere beyond the deep forest, there are people who will love you for who you truly are."
In a distant yet close time, Tatan, who lived in a gray village, crossed the pink river and arrived at the peculiar and beautiful place called 'Dorothy Mansion,' where strange and wonderful people reside. Here, a diverse group of individuals live free from the prejudices of others. Who exactly are the people living here?
I invite you to the love-filled 'Dorothy Mansion.'
Review by Atnoon
It is because they have forgotten that they can shine as a radiant being when they live true to themselves.
The author and illustrator of this book, Gaheezy, who identifies as a woman, Asian, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, has faced numerous moments of discrimination and hatred. Therefore, whenever she hears the voices of countless individuals who had to face the denial of living as their authentic selves, she deeply empathizes. Thus began Gaheezy's first picture book, "Dorothy Mansion," a story that encapsulates the longing for a world where people with different colors and diverse identities can embrace their uniqueness and freely enjoy what they love.
Just as our appearances are different, the forms of love are also diverse.
Moreover, love can be found in any heart and flow in any direction.
Within the book, various individuals with different appearances and ways of life emerge. They are not perfectly refined; instead, they have rough edges, different colors, and bold lines. Throughout the story, there are moments that overflow with intensity, as well as unbalanced and precarious landscapes. However, all these elements ultimately come together, overlapping and mixing, creating rich and vibrant scenes.
Through the harmonization of these strange and beautiful characters, "Dorothy Mansion" evokes diverse emotions of love in its readers. In this love-filled world of "Dorothy Mansion," I hope you discover the radiant essence of you and me, us.
There was a memorable scene I witnessed in New Zealand, where I once stayed. It was at a beach with sparkling, translucent summer waters. There, I saw people of diverse skin colors, different cultures and languages, coming together as a family, enjoying a picnic. As I gazed at this sight, my heart inexplicably warmed.
I pondered for a long time on how to convey the message of diversity in the easiest and clearest way. Then, by chance, I discovered that in the movie, the term "Dorothy's friends" was used as a colloquial term among gay people at the time. When one of the characters said, "Dorothy, you have some really queer friends," Dorothy replied.
"Their queerness doesn't matter; they're my friends."
Inspired by this story, I conceived "Dorothy Mansion," aiming to create a fusion of reality and an ideal world through a fantastical imagery. To achieve this, I utilized collage techniques, blending elements from both realms.
I worked as a portrait artist in both New Zealand and Korea, capturing memorable moments of people, travel, and daily life through my artwork. With a desire to tell unique queer stories that can be found anywhere and nowhere, I studied illustration and ventured into creating picture books. In 2021, I independently published the comic book 'What I Want to Draw.'
'Dorothy Mansion' is my first picture book, created from a story I've wanted to tell for a long time.