Pascal Blanchet’s…

graphic novel Baloney (Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, 2008) is a wonderful blend of image, narrative, and sound.  The illustrations, a mix of art nouveau, art deco, and contemporary cartoon, are all rendered in black, red, and white; the narrative style is reminiscent of both 17th century fairy tales (including the motif of returning the sun to a land of perpetual winter) and 20th century Russian novels (darkly funny, with a tragic end).  The entire narrative is meant to be read along with selections of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Chopin, making it something of an operatic text.  The entire effect is, again like an opera, very beautiful, and moving well beyond its performance space.

21 March 2009 ~ St. Catharines

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