Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 11

Lulu Anew

by Etienne Davodeau
Genre notes: Day-in-life, bildungsroman, abuse
160 pages
ISBN: 1561639729 (Amazon)

Lulu, tired of her husband's lightly abusive (but also persistently abusive) manner, takes a break from her life. She disappears, telling no one of her whereabouts and begins a small adventure with no particular end in mind. The entire episode is told after the fact by gathered friends, piecing together the mystery of her absence and what it all means. The device allows for information to trickle out at exactly the right pace, and by the end when we circle back on the beginning of things, we are immediately satisfied. (If that kind of thing is where one finds satisfaction.)

The book is quiet, lovely, and explores a kind of vacation from responsibility (that by its nature will create more responsibility). There's a lot going on and I won't spoil it for you, but Lulu Anew is essentially about the human experience in a way similar to the Linklater's Before trilogy (without sharing a single plot point with the film trilogy).

One of the things I like about Lulu Anew is how communal storytelling plays such an integral part in its narrative of revelation. One person tells what he knows and then passes the storytelling on to the next person for her piece of the puzzle and so on.

That and the fact that this woman has about twelve people gathering to get word of their friend and patiently listen to her story as told by others. That's amazing to me.

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Good Ok Bad features reviews of comics, graphic novels, manga, et cetera using a rare and auspicious three-star rating system. Point systems are notoriously fiddly, so here it's been pared down to three simple possibilities:

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