Our comic book reviews from here and elsewhere.

There are books that haunt us long after the last page. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, is one of them. Manu Larcenet (Le combat ordinary, Blast) dives into this story of ashes and wandering where we follow a boy and his father pushing a cart along a road that crosses an America devastated by a cataclysm never named. They are hungry, the little one is afraid. He’s right, among these “bad guys” who patrol this lost land, some eat other humans to survive. The power of literature is to let us imagine what the words evoke. That of comics is to show without saying everything, without taking up all the space. With a very appropriate economy of words, Manu Larcenet offers disturbing images in a powerful style. His little nod to Sempé, the other side of childhood recounted here, has a terrible poetic significance.

The cartoonist Axelle Lenoir, awarded at the Bédélys 2023 for the second volume of If we were and cited at the Eisner Awards for the English version of the first (What If We Were), returns with Secret Passages – Trompe-l’oeil. The work, first published in English in 2022, is in the running for the Bédélys Québec which will be awarded at the opening of the Montreal BD Festival at the end of the month. Here again, the creator puts her sense of dialogue and fall at the service of an incredible story, tinged with self-deprecation. A sort of fantasy autobiography, the book shows little Axelle, quite awkward, caught between two brothers who are even more awkward and rather spacey parents. It’s chaotic, it’s funny and the tone is lively, as always with her.

Marsu, a keen architect, falls in love with Thom, creator of virtual space. And it’s reciprocal. Their relationship, initially friendly, evolves towards great intimacy as Marsu becomes familiar with virtual reality, which allows him to live two lives at once: one in the real world with his lover, the other in the virtual world with Thom. A poetic story about polyamory, The Field of Possibilities is imbued with optimism and tenderness, even if it also touches on the difficulties experienced by lovers living in multiple relationships. The colorful style is marked by a certain naivety, but offers beautiful pages which beautifully convey the intensity of the emotions experienced by the characters and the utopian character of the story told.

The idea is original: The work features an interstellar botanist called Anthea who has been going from world to world for who knows how long to take care of plants. She’s got some work to do! She is also placed before the beauty and variety of the plants found in these different universes, knowing how to treat the sick and make those who are healthy flourish. She takes her role seriously and feels indispensable until the day she returns to a planet she visited a long time ago and where people no longer want her to interfere in their affairs… work, produced by a trio led by Dominique Trudeau (the father, drawing) and his sons Félix and Loïc, speaks of course of the need to take care of our environment, but also, implicitly, of the rights that we have arrogance over nature and the harm that can be done to it, even without apparent bad intentions. Poetic, philosophical, carried by an abundant drawing imbued with naivety, the work shows as much as it invites you to open your imagination.