Today, we bring you Craig Fischer’s review of Michel Rabagliati’s latest graphic novel, Paul Joins the Scouts. This piece of course acts as something of a pendant to the larger essay Craig wrote about Rabagliati’s work recently, which he summarizes briefly within the new review:
Here on TCJ a few weeks ago, I wrote an essay about Rabagliati’s work before Scouts, arguing that readers can assemble a rough but consistent chronology for Rabagliati/Paul’s life from the events presented and alluded to in such “stand-alone” books as Paul Has a Summer Job (2002) and The Song of Roland (2009/English translation 2012). Scouts fills out the chronology further, showing us much more of Paul’s childhood than we’ve previously seen. I also mentioned that Paul’s father typically gets a lot more narrative attention from Rabagliati than Paul’s mother, but that too is corrected in Scouts, where Paul’s mother Aline is portrayed as a vivacious young wife frustrated by living in an apartment next door to two nosy relatives, one of whom is Paul’s great-aunt Janette, “seamstress, hat-maker and old maid” (17), who we’ve seen previously (as a much older person) in Paul Moves Out (2004/2005). The pleasures of the Paul series are two-fold: each individual graphic novel has a proper beginning, middle and end, and can be read on its own, but those who read the entire series notice reoccurring characters and motifs and can assemble a broader picture of Paul’s life.
—There’s some kind of convention going on today, but I have no idea how to find out any information about it. It’s really important to me that I know every bit of information about the big sfx movies I’m not going to see in two years, though. Truly at a loss here…
—Toronto developer David Mirvish is selling the “Mirvish Village” plot of land, which means that local comics institution The Beguiling will probably be needing a new location soon. The Toronto Star has the story.
—John Adcock & Huib van Opstal have teamed up with a post gathering two rare articles written about the mysterious Herbert Edmund Crowley in 1911 and 1915.
—Ng Suat Tong deploys Walter Benjamin’s conception of kitsch while looking at the work of Frank King, George Herriman, Kevin Huizenga, and Jack T. Chick.
—Betsy Gomes at the CBLDF site has an interesting story about how a 1940 anti-comic-book law is being used today to prosecute the owner of a website that posted an alleged snuff video.
—Buster Keaton, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth fan