01/11/2010. Contributed by Eamonn Murphy
pub: Fantagraphics. 48 page illustrated softcover. Price: $12.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-60699-359-0.
check out websites: www. fantagraphics.com and www.beguiling.com
This is a full colour graphic novella featuring dog-headed bohemian characters going about their everyday lives in Montpellier, France. The main character is Sven, a Scandinavian artist, like his creator, who is also now living in Montpellier. There is possibly a bit of autobiography here but hopefully Jason does not dress as a werewolf to burgle people's houses every full moon. Sven does.
Sven also sketches scenery, plays chess with a friend, goes to parties occasionally and is in love with a female artist who is in love with another woman. Ah, the eternal triangle! This is Sven's mental torture. His physical danger comes from real werewolves who live in Montpellier and resent him giving them a bad rep with his burglaries. They threaten 'some unpleasantness' if he doesn't stop.
Some of the conversations are amusing and the awkward silences of real life relationships are nicely portrayed by silent panels and the characters body language. The eight panel grids are the same on every page but that's not a bad thing. This is not the kind of tale that calls for spectacular graphics.
I'm not sure it calls for any graphics to be honest. This sort of pondering on the human condition is all well and good but perhaps not suited to this medium. Either that or my prejudiced notions of what is suited to this medium, Batman for example, are out of date.
That is probably more true. Certainly graphic continuity is a valid storytelling technique for a writer to choose. Let's say then that it might work better without the werewolves as a realistic text story in some literary magazine, the kind bohemian artists in Montpellier read.
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