cover image The Cross-Eyed Mutt

The Cross-Eyed Mutt

Etienne Davodeau, trans. from the French by Joe Johnson. NBM, $24.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-68112-097-3

Channeling the gentle absurdity of his Lulu Anew, Davodeau takes readers on a comic romp that questions the nature of high art. Meeting his girlfriend Mathilde’s family for the first time, Fabien is quickly welcomed into the off-kilter clan. When his prospective in-laws discover he’s a security guard at the Louvre, they make a peculiar request: to convince the world’s most famous art museum to accept a thoroughly mediocre painting by their ancestor. Fabien’s attempt to follow through on his mission brings him into contact with the Republic of the Louvre, a secret society that controls the museum’s collection. In the process, Davodeau meanders among questions that have plagued artists for centuries: what differentiates low art from pieces worth millions? Why do we overlook some artists in favor of others? In the end, Davodeau suggests that both sides of the spectrum are equally ridiculous, exquisitely incorporating classical sculptures and oils into his cartooning—but sparing a moment to laugh at his own form, too. (June)