cover image Lulu Anew

Lulu Anew

Étienne Davodeau. NBM/Comics Lit, $27.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-56163-972-4

One day Lulu runs away: from her husband, her children, her friends. Each person in her circle chronicles a part of Lulu’s tale, her new life unraveling as a mystery that spirals out like a nautilus. Her past and present are exposed as each encounter or memory is shared, opening up the lives of not only Lulu but also those around her. Skillfully unsentimental characterizations, light and earthy watercolors, and everyday goings-on reveal a familiar recognizable world, but Davodeau (The Initiates) merges these elements into an enchanting realism. Using a cinematic panel structure, Davodeau tightens or spreads out the width of each tier’s panels to accommodate pauses, reflection, conflict, and action. A raucous party’s kinetic action rat-a-tat-tats through smaller panels; wider panels are used to show wandering through the night, and the occasional full-page single panel drops the tempo to slow reflection and contemplation. In the book’s plainspoken, realistic immediacy, each element becomes absolutely essential. Davodeau’s brilliance is connecting it all into a deeply affecting story about how we seek to change our lives. (Apr.)