Bubbles & Gondola by Renaud Dillies

Bubbles & Gondola
by Renaud Dillies
NBM Comics Lit, 2011

Enigmatic, charming and melancholy. One day Charlie the mouse (a frustrated author living in an isolated house) is visited by a bluebird called Mr. Solitude, and a cheerful giraffe who nails a string of party lights to his wall. He invites Charlie to a wild local carnival, which he cautiously attends wearing a blank white mask, like Kaonashi in Spirited Away. He encounters Mr. Solitude several times, leading to a potential love interest (a female doctor mouse), but only reaches an epiphany after accidentally breaking his favourite coffee cup, sending the boat painted on the side free “to put to open seas”.

This is a very elegant book, drawn in a messy style reminiscent of Krazy Kat, with thoughtful and dreamlike intervals set in a riotous world of happy anthropomorphized animals. Unusually there’s no introduction or biography of the Coup de Coeur-winning author, but unlike many comics, the author is not the important thing here.

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