Alien was the original, German title for this debut graphic novel about a day in the lives of two impassive girls and their crestfallen mother. That the book has been published in translation as Earthling makes sense: it's a coming-of-age story that shimmers between the alien and the familiar, between feeling at home with those around you, and feeling hopelessly estranged. While the characters orbit around their tidy, modular house in the suburbs, each is also trapped in her own disruptive fantasy world. The mother endures visions of the brilliant self she could have been, if only she hadn't had her girls. The eldest daughter turns to desultory sex as an escape from a teenaged life lacking in childhood's magic. And the youngest – well, she's found and befriended an actual alien. Franz crowds her pages full of panels, to convey what constrained lives these characters lead, and her drawings – all sketched out in pencil – look fittingly tentative, fragile, and easily effaced.