Top Shelf Productions, $29.95, 736 pages
Lucille, like many teenagers, is struggling with her identity. She is questioning her sexual identity, battling anorexia, and dealing with her difficult mother. Ludovic Debeurme’s graphic novel Lucille is a story about self discovery. Originally published in French in 2006, this is the debut of the English translation. Readers will find a wonderful mix of language and visual artwork and the 736 pages seem to just zip by seamlessly.
Besides Lucille, the other main character is Arthur, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He counts to cope with his struggles. He comes from a line of alcoholics with suicidal tendencies. Both Lucille and Arthur are struggling to create their own identities, separate from parental and societal expectations. They are drawn to each other despite their individual problems and weaknesses. They can be themselves when they are together and decide to run away to find happiness and love. This is just part one, so expect a cliffhanger ending. The second part has already been published in French and will come out in English next year. Debeurme’s bare ink sketches may seem simple, but they compliment a deeper story.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin