Girard revisits the childhood death of his little brother in his most emotional and spare work

Burdened with grief, confusion, and anger, Pascal Girard explores the childhood passing of his five-year-old brother. Girard delves into the emotional repercussions of this life-changing trauma, from his memories as a nine-year-old struggling to understand up until the present day, twenty-five years after the shattering loss. At the heart of Nicolas lies the question shared by most undergoing bereavement: Why? This confusion multiplies for a young boy with few answers to his questions, lacking even a basic explanation of the cause of his brother's departure. As sorrow and guilt are muffled by time and the flurry of even the most typical childhood and adolescence, this is a story of grief not grieved, and a glimpse into the ongoing process of reckoning. Pascal struggles to reconcile the magnitude of this tragedy with the minutiae of his daily experience of loss. Nicolas is a delicate, minimalist portrait of the many faces of mourning, identified with surprising humor and pathos by an artist who knows them intimately.

Originally published in a micro-run ten years ago, Girard creates new comics and an introduction that contemplate the larger effect of Nicolas's death on his current behaviors and habits. With masterful visual restraint, Girard pens a work of great honesty and integrity: Nicolas resonates long after the book is closed, the weight of the story echoing closely the heft of the personal loss.

Translated by Helge Dascher.

"The small, slim volume is quite minimalist in terms of what's on the page, but at the same time is emotionally rich and complex."— The Quietus

"This graphic stream of consciousness about life—before and after—is a powerful testament to brotherly love and healing."— The Miami Herald

"I can think of few graphic novels that pack more emotional punch per page than Pascal Girard's Nicolas."— London Free Press

"This exquisite, wee graphic novel’s extreme sparseness, verbally as well as visually, make it a possible godsend for many long-term mourners." -Booklist

"In a small volume that is both gorgeous and raw, Pascal Girard generously shares his own story of loss and coping in an extremely affecting manner. I love it very much."—Leslie Stein, author of Eye of the Majestic Creature

"A touching memoir that's as heartfelt as anything I've read." -Jeffrey Brown, cartoonist of Clumsy, Unlikely, and Big Head



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