Saturday, May 20, 2023

La nuit du chat

 La Nuit du chat is a graphic novel in the series “ Broussaille” by Franke Pe and Michel Bom.

I still remember reading this one for the first time, back in high school.

It changed my entire perception of what stories could be. To this day, it is still my all time favorite graphic novel because of the impact it’s had on me personally and my career( It doesn’t help that I’ve met Frank Pe a few years ago and he was just as lovely, charming and intelligent as his characters are).

There are a few things about this series and this character that impacted me.

First, it’s just beautiful. The simplistic characters in these gorgeous environments, the feeling of light and shadows is masterful. Every album is dripping with heat, mood, rainy weather. In the first book of the series, Les Balinese Publiques, the sky Is overcast and I could feel the wet pavement and the smell of petrichor. In the second one, Les Sculpteurs de Lumiere, the main character BROUSSAILLE goes to visit his uncle for the summer and the feeling of summer sun is incredible. 

But, the one that astounds me every time I re read it is La suit du chat with it’s voyeur like camera work. 

The second thing that broke and opened my mind was the story.

There are NO bad guys in this book. No big plot to save the world. It’s not a love story, not in the romantic comedy style at least. It’s just a simple story of a young man looking for his cat at night, in his neighborhood. There is a LOT happening in that one night and we meet interesting characters throughout.

One in particular stood out to me. A retired miner worker. One of the most extraordinary characters I’ve read in graphic novels.

There is a portion of the book where Broussaille is seeing inside people’s apartment. He’s outside on a wall looking at the facade of the building and sees through the windows. I realize how much of my work has been inspired by this and I didn’t even realize it till years later.

I bought this book when I was 15. I still have the original copy of that book and I take it with me every time I move. I re read it at least a few times a year.

I don’t know how easy it is to find in the US but if you could find it, I HIGHLY recommend it.

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