cover image Reunion


Pascal Girard, trans. from the French by Helge Dasher. Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-770460-37-9

An invitation to a 10th-year high school reunion and the possibility of encountering former crush Lucie Cote sends youthful French-Canadian artist/author Girard on an enthusiastic but poorly thought-out program of self-improvement. Determined to prove himself a winner at the reunion, Pascal succeeds in shedding unwanted pounds, but he fails to address his crippling personal shortcomings. His behavior at times verging on the obsessively creepy, Pascal manages to sabotage himself at virtually every turn, his ambition doomed to failure by his flaws, not least his tendency to say exactly the wrong thing to his former schoolmates. A too-eager quest to win adulation and respect from those schoolmates is instead a meticulous demonstration of why Pascal never enjoyed either in his high school days. Brutally critical of his own behavior and willing to skewer his failings at length, Girard's semiautobiographical tale provides dark humor at his own expense, his unsteady art reflecting the character's own insecurities. Although painful to read at times, Girard's self-mocking tale is entrancing, a self-inflicted catastrophe of terrible but irresistible hilarity. (Apr.)