- Posted by Johanna on April 13, 2008 at 1:33 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel News
Reviews I Agree With cover books I’m not reviewing myself (usually because I have nothing to add to what someone else has said well, or they’re worth talking about but not to my taste).
From Charles Hatfield at Thought Balloonists, covering the translated graphic novel by Cyril Pedrosa:
For all the vivid mysteriousness of its images, then, Three Shadows is more conventional in its aims. In the end, its mysteries devolve into something that feels “right” (foreordained) in terms of emotive payoff but “wrong” in the sense of exhausting the book’s power to charm and leaving us with nothing to think about or to look out for in future readings. In short, it feels a bit too pat.
… The book’s back-flap hype refers to Pedrosa’s style as a “unique visual handwriting,” and indeed his drawings invoke that calligraphic sense of the graceful, sweeping line that we associate with masters of gestural brush inking. At the same time, though, his Disneyesque character designs and his taste for images of irrepressible playfulness tip the work in the direction of “children’s comics.” Three Shadows does have the charms, frankly scarce these days, of a lavish hand-drawn film — which is to say that the book is transparently manipulative and, like a top-of-the-drawer animated feature, revels in its graphic splendor, lunging from one startling visual set piece to the next.
The book is lovely, demonstrating Pedrosa’s animation skills, but Hatfield’s description of it as “unjelled” sums up how it left me feeling. Pedrosa states he was inspired by the death of a friend’s child, and his willingness to tackle such a potent subject gives his book more heft than it would otherwise have.