Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Reader's Diary #1838- Hervé Bouchard: Harvey

I found myself really early into Hervé Bouchard's Harvey comparing it to works by other French illustrators and chastising myself for it. Clearly Hervé Bouchard is French, would I be making such connections if his name was Douglas McAllen? Was I stereotyping?

But then I thought about Japanese manga. It tends to have a clear, identifiable style, despite different approaches by individual artists. I think I'm just picking up on a French style. I'm noticing lines and fonts with a slight shaky, first-draft quality (think Sheldon Cohen's The Hockey Sweater), vintage colouring and patterns (think Isabelle Arsenault's Jane, the Fox, and Me), and characters are slightly exaggerated in their dimensions (think Sylvain Chomet's The Triplets of Belleville). 

I enjoyed these attributes in Hervé Bouchard's Harvey as well and they fit with the story of a boy remembering the day his father died; the childish observations, the gloomy tone with some lighter amusements thrown in. 

I didn't quite get the ending though. It felt like it was meant to be artistic, but without understanding the intent, it just came across as abrupt to me.

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