LOUIS: Dreams Never Die

Metaphrog, Author, Metaphrog, Illustrator . Metaphrog $14.99 (44p) ISBN 978-0-9545984-0-2

Despite this work's soft, delicate art and cartoon characters, mature readers may appreciate its story more than children will. It's heavy reading, with lots going on beneath the surface of the fanciful four-color images. Louis is a young man who lives in a vivid fairy tale–like world, and readers soon learn he doesn't have much happening in his life. Louis's universe is populated by strange creatures who appear to be following someone or something; few think or act of their own accord. Thus Louis plods on, in this strange place where nothing quite feels real. He writes letters to an Aunt Allison, yet readers never find out if she really exists, since it's later revealed that Louis's neighbor intercepts the letters and replies, signing Aunt Allison's name. And so on. With this work, Franco-Scottish comics team Metaphrog comments on society and the human tendency to follow instead of lead. Louis's plight—stuck in the humdrum everyday, tricked when he tries to leave his hamlet and deceived by those around him—reflects how some people stumble through life. Louis doesn't question much, and although he dreams, he is still grounded during his waking hours. Metaphrog's deep story will have readers contemplating its images and events long after they've reached the final page. (July)

FYI: A CD of songs written by Hey (musician Helmut Erler) and Múm (an Icelandic band) inspired by the story accompanies the book.

Reviewed on: 08/30/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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