For the February Euro Comics episode, Edward and Derek discuss two works from Christophe Chabouté, Alone and Park Bench, both published by Gallery 13, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. The first is a largely quiet meditation on solicitude, exile, and imagination. Because of physical deformities, the protagonist lives isolated in a lighthouse, with only a couple of fishermen to bring him supplies and serve as his link to the outside world. By contrast, Park Bench is a completely silent narrative that is all about community. The titular object functions as a simple focal point that brings together, inadvertently, a variety of diverse individuals, demonstrating an interconnectedness that is not readily apparent. While Derek appreciates Chabouté’s uncomplicated style and thematic approach, Edward is more critical, preferring more visual difference and ambiguous messaging.
This month on the Euro Comics series, Edward and Derek discuss two black-and-white narratives, one an adaptation of a classic text and another an offbeat tale of aliens and relationships. They begin with Christophe Chabouté’s rendering of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (note the lack of hyphen in the title), released earlier this year from Dark Horse Books. After mentioning many of the earlier comics adaptations of the great American novel — and there are a lot — they plunge into Chabouté’s handling, highlighting some of the differences from the earlier versions. Both cohosts come from two very different perspectives in their analyses, since Derek is very familiar with the original novel and Edward has not yet read it. As such, their approaches are varied and multifaceted.
Next, they turn to the latest translation of Manuele Fior, The Interview(Fantagraphics). This is a markedly different kind of story from 5,000 km Per Second, a book that Gwen and Derek reviewed last year. As Edward points out, the draw of The Interview isn’t so much the story, but its tone or the affect generated by the text. This is a tale about relationships, and Fior’s art deftly expresses the subtitles and complications that underlie all of our interactions. You may come away from this book with a feeling of uncertainly and irresolution, but that seems to be a part of Fior’s project.