PAUL GOES FISHING reviewed by Booklist

Paul Goes Fishing

Booklist    |    Gordon Flagg    |    March 15, 2008

Readers have followed Rabagliati's alter ego Paul from his unhappy youth as a high-school dropout through his first stabs at adulthood. In the fourth book about him, he's married and settled down with girlfriend Lucie and working as a graphic designer in Montreal. A fishing trip with his in-laws is largely uneventful. Paul gets to know them better, reminisces about his childhood and troubled adolescence, and finds that he doesn't really care for fishing. Such unsensational developments are consistent with previous installments of Paul's saga, all of which evoked the charm and quiet drama of small moments. After the vacation, Paul and Lucie's efforts to get pregnant meet a series of setbacks that come as close to anguish as Rabagliati has so far brought his hero. The art is as unpretentious as the plots. Rabagliati, a graphic designer himself, understands the importance of visual simplicity and thoughtful panel composition to effective comics storytelling. It's easy to underrate Rabagliati's achievement, which is the celebration of the everyday so as to make of it modest yet compelling art.



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