Renaud Dillies: Abelard and Bubbles & Gondola

428. Abelard by Renaud Dillies

Rating: (4/5)

Oct. 25 2012, NBM Publishing, 128 pgs

Age: (18+)

"To lure pretty Epily, Abelard sees only one solution: to catch the moon for her! So off he goes to America, the country which invented flying machines. Armed with his banjo and his proverb-sharing hat, he launches out on the country roads, meets Gypsies, then Gaston, a grumpy bear with whom he will share a good bit of his way… As opposed to dreamer Abelard, Gaston has his feet firmly planted on the ground. "

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library loan.

This is a philosophical tale and like "Betty Blues", though anthropomorphic, NOT for children.  Abilard has never left his marsh in his entire life but he becomes smitten with a visiting tourist and the ever optimist Abilard leaves to acquire a bouquet of stars in hopes of capturing her attention.  With his banjo in hand he sets out and meets up with a pessimistic bear.  The unlikely duo become reluctant (on the bear's part) traveling companions and what follows is a bittersweet journey of opposites; naivete vs worldliness, faith vs denial and what happens when reality hits both types of personalities.  Finally it is a sad, but touching story of life and death, and life after death both for the dead and the living.  Touching and bittersweet.  Lovely, emotional art!  I must now read Dillies first book translated into English.  His work is brilliant.


432.  Bubbles & Gondola by Renaud Dillies.

Rating: (3/5)

Oct. 2011, NBM Publishing, 80 pgs

Age: (13+)

"On a background of Django Reinhardt, this jewel of poetic fantasy is a fairy tale for all ages with spot on observations about life. Charlie is a mouse who’s trying to write but has a block. Writing is a solitary endeavor. A bird named Solitude comes to visit him to keep him company. We’re never sure he actually exists but in Charlie’s mind, yet he brings him out into the world, dares him to experience the unknown, unblocking his little existence… A drama about the blank page for Charlie who so wants to make the world more beautiful with his writing, we are transported into a tender and moving tale with a twinge of lyrical melancholy yet sweet, warm and ultimately elevating."

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library loan.

Once again Dillies art is so adorably cute but again the story is not for children.  This is a very deep philosophical story about writer's block and not particular to my tastes as much as his other two I've read to date.  I must say I preferred the art in this one though!  Birds played the major role in the others, but he does such a cute, expressive mouse in this one that I just loved Charlie.  The title is quite obscure and takes some thinking to grasp the meaning of, while perhaps thinking it could have had a better title.  The book examines self-imposed solitude which becomes personified in a small, possibly imaginary, bird called "Mister Solitude".  Charlie struggles with his writer's block, his solitude vs loneliness and learns that one can only write what one has experienced through the experience and participation in life.  Good, but Betty Blues is my favourite, followed by Abelard.