Eighteen comics and manga, between twinkling stars and boundless imagination

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By John

THE MORNING LIST

Architectural perfection, a quest for origins, a superhero cat, an entrepreneurial epic… The albums released in May took comic strip and manga critics on a journey. Worldin search of graphic nuggets.

“La Petite Lumière”: black as a star

Up there on his mountain, an old man reclusive in his hovel is obsessed by the little light he sees in front of his house. There lives a little boy, alone like him in a building without comfort. Under the stars, the trees and the abundant nature changing with the seasons, the old man questions life at the same time as he seeks to solve the mystery of the child, with whom he weaves a very strong bond. In this adaptation of Antonio Moresco’s novel, Grégory Panaccione manages to create a dialogue, a poetry, between his drawings, the colors and the plot of the story. The omnipresent green, the touches of red, yellow, respond to paintings that are sometimes so dark that the silhouettes can hardly be guessed. As a tribute to “outrenoir” de Soulages, a way of exploiting black to better reflect light.

By Grégory Panaccione, Delcourt, 248 p., 27.95 euros.

Do the square and the compass have a soul? No one can doubt it, except to ignore the talent of Lukasz Wojciechowski. The author, an architect by training who we easily guess is brilliant and crazy, bets that technical drawing is the best way to describe the inner torments of a veteran of the First World War. Behind the graphic prowess, which perfectly restores the modernism of Berlin in the 1930s, the story has nothing to do with a pretext. She recalls that, beyond the shell formed by straight lines, all victims of post-traumatic stress are, inside, “hand drawn”.

By Lukasz Wojciechowski, translated from English by Fanny Soubiran, Here and there, 272 p., 25 euros.

“Sefardim”: exile and the kingdom

On November 30, 2015, the Spanish monarch Felipe VI put an end to more than 500 years of humiliation of the Sephardic Jews, driven out by the Catholic kings Ferdinand II and Isabella Ier. The opening of the right to Spanish nationality for the descendants of victims of the Alhambra decree of 1492 is the perfect opportunity for Anne Bénoliel-Defréville to delve into the intricacies of her family history. Who were the Benoliels of Andalusia? With the Mediterranean rim as a field of investigation, the author engages in a fascinating exegesis over more than 3,000 years. The album, with its strikingly beautiful watercolors, is overwhelming by touching on the universality of exile.