The Finnish artist Tommi Musturi creates wordless, symbolic comics, often with four square panels per page and images brimming over with imaginative details and richness of color. Inspiration can be discerned from Hergé and Joost Swartes ligne claire, but also from Jim Woodring’s whimsical, hypnotic comics. The main character is a simple, stylized white figure which rarely shows any emotion despite being exposed to everything from traveling backwards from the tomb of the womb, to the artist’s hand literally, and forcefully intervening in the storyline. The short comics contained in this book are not clearly linked, and are divided with what appears to be individual, non-sequitur illustrations. Overall, the book’s content, however, creates a unified feeling that lingers after reading.
This is the 38th album of the Les Tuniques Bleues and the artist Lambil is as good as ever in his somewhat more realistic version of the dynamic Marcinelle-style. Sometimes I feel, however, that the script writer Cauvin has lost some of his edge thorough the years. In this particular album, though, he rises to the occasion. A battle between the North and the Confederate soldiers is contrasted with a protracted childbirth. Life and death. This has of course been done before, but Cauvin manages just the right balance between nonsense and seriousness. The pacifist end of the story is also spot on.
The second graphic novel with Li Österberg’s contemporary take on the Greek gods, and a much better, more coherent story than that in the first, Nekyia. We here follow the young woman Persefone, a minor goddess who is the daughter (and granddaughter…) of the god Zeus and the goddess Demeter. Persefone is a goddess, but is very much depicted like a woman of flesh and blood, and her thoughts and feeling feels more based in the modern world than in ancient Greece.
Fanny Agazzi makes her book debut with a graphic novel of how it is to have a close friend dying abruptly and way too early in life. The story is autobiographical and woven into the story of how her friend Nabil passed away and the mental breakdown that followed are other recurring themes such as trying to get pregnant despite a number of failures,attempts to function socially and keep a job.