cover image Gray Horses

Gray Horses

Hope Larson, . . Oni Press, $14.95 (112pp) ISBN 978-1-932664-36-2

Larsen's second book is a delight. With a whimsical but sure touch, it follows Noemie, a recent arrival in Paris, as she discovers her own footing in the big city and attends art school. As she wanders around her new home, she has vivid dreams of a fantasy past and present. She also befriends a girl named Anna and has a distant courtship with a photography student who stealthily captures her on film and sometimes leaves the results for her to find as visual love letters. Noemie's dreams of family and horses dovetail with her own journey toward adulthood, as she begins to resolve her own melancholy and embark on a new part of her life. Larson renders all of this in black and yellow, expertly spotting her colors to create the kind of swirling, beautiful spaces one imagines when exploring both a city and a dream. Page and chapter numbers are cleverly delineated by rolls of film. Larson also uses dialogue in French throughout, adding an unexpected charm and authenticity to her story. The tale feels lived in—or dreamt of—anchoring the sometimes overly sentimental dialogue in concrete emotions. Gray Horses is a fine evocation of being young and searching in the big city—recommended for the romantics among us. (Mar.)