Quill & Quire reviews New Paul Book

Summer of ’79

Quill & Quire    |    Quill & Quire Staff    |    March 20, 2003

Having rekindled a passion for the comics medium, 40-year-old graphic designer and illustrator Michel Rabagliati has emerged with a surprisingly full set of chops. Rabagliati’s first graphic novel, Paul Has a Summer Job pays tribute to such European comics as Tintin, Spiro, Gaston and Asterix , as well as more current influences like Parisian comics team Phillipe Dupuy and Charles Berberian and Canada’s own Seth.

The novel is a sweet sentimental story of Paul’s coming of age in the summer of 1979, and his transformation from hot-headed high school drop out to nurturing young adult, while working as a camp counsellor at a remote lake in Quebec. Rabagliati uses a broad ink brush stroke that is both direct and expressive: his style doesn’t inhibit the story with clunky texture, yet still conveys a sense of awe in a beautiful vista. He has an excellent sense of pace that easily brings the reader into this turbulent world, especially in the present day epilogue. The story may be a little too sweet for readers at times, but this is the work of a skilled craftsman with a lot teach about the possibilities of the medium.

(Paul will be available this Spring)

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