Rohan at the Louvre

Hirohiko Araki. NBM (www.nbmpub.com), $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-56163-615-0
A departure from the typical shonen or shojo manga styles, this weird fantasy tale from the creator of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure tells of a young man’s encounter with a mysterious divorcée who moves into his grandmother’s boarding house and how that meeting returns to haunt him a decade later. During his teens, Rohan aspires to be a manga artist, and his fledgling efforts attract the attention of the beautiful, apparently emotionally disturbed boarder, who tells him of the darkest, most evil painting ever crafted. She violently destroys his first completed work, a story featuring her image as its female lead, and disappears, leaving behind several unanswered questions. Ten years later, Rohan visits the Louvre and discovers the mysterious evil painting is housed in one of the museum’s closed wings, after which Stygian horror ensues. Looking like the work of a Japanese P. Craig Russell, Araki’s art lends a wistful mood to the tale’s proceedings and arrests the eye with willowy figures and expressive faces. Previous volumes of this graphic novel series published by the Louvre itself have all been excellent, and this is no exception. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
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