Renee

Ludovic Debeurme. IDW/Top Shelf, $29.95 ISBN 978-1-60309-304-0
Dreams merge into reality with unnerving ease in Debeurme’s captivating sequel to Lucille. In what starts as a waking nightmare, leaves blow in a bleak autumnal wind while a haunted, drowned-looking boy wanders the pages like a Charles Burns refugee (the setting is unspecified by mostly in France). Arthur, imprisoned for murder, strikes up a friendship with an older convict, Eddie, who doesn’t understand why the younger Arthur is so solicitous. Outside the prison, two young women are listlessly acting out the dead-end life choices of their damaging pasts. Lucille is so trapped by the memory of her missing father that she can barely engage with her life, while Renee pursues a self-destructive relationship with an older jazz musician. Debeurme’s stories have a touch of the prosaic; all of these missing father figures and childhood wounds can seem too pat for Debeurme to hang his art on. But the Lovecraftian grotesquerie and overwritten poetic wistfulness somehow combine for a powerfully tragic meditation on the alienating force of memory. Agent: Nicolas Grivel (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/25/2016
Release date: 07/01/2015
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