cover image Pistouvi


Merwan, illus. by Bertrand Gatignol. Magnetic, $19.99 paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-942367-95-6

Jeanne, a human girl, and Pistouvi, her anthropomorphic fox companion, pass their days in domestic tasks and quiet, occasionally dangerous adventures in and around their tree house home. Their world is largely devoid of other people, instead inhabited by flocks of variously sized birds with which they are in constant conflict, some of which possess the power to transform Pistouvi into one of their kind. A gigantic half-man, half-tractor who endlessly plows the land, leaving long rows of barbed-wire fencing in his wake, and the personified Wind who scatters seeds behind him, provide occasional oversight. Art from Gatignol (the Ogre Gods series) features rich black-and-white panels in a manga-influenced style that depicts bizarre and memorable characters and a world heavy with tantalizing details, including scavenger tree house decor. Frustratingly, the beautiful art and unusual storytelling by Merwan (the Aster of Pan series) never fulfill their promise: the fragmented story, disrupted by transitions, hints at an obscure underlying message before fizzling into a traumatic conclusion. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 13–16. (Nov.)