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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stuff of Interest - May 2006 - Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda

by J. P. Stassen

The 2000 winner of the Goscinny Prize for outstanding graphic novel script, this is the harrowing tale of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, as seen through the eyes of a boy named Deogratias. He is an ordinary teenager, in love with a girl named Bénigne, but Deogratias is a Hutu and Bénigne is a Tutsi who dies in the genocide, and Deogratias himself plays a part in her death. As the story circles around but never depicts the terror and brutality of an entire country descending into violence, we watch Deogratias in his pursuit of Bénigne, and we see his grief and descent into madness following her death, as he comes to believe he is a dog.

Told with great artistry and intelligence, this book offers a window into a dark chapter of recent human history and exposes the West's role in the tragedy. Stassen's interweaving of the aftermath of the genocide and the events leading up to it heightens the impact of the horror, giving powerful expression to the unspeakable, indescribable experience of ordinary Hutus caught up in the violence. Difficult, beautiful, honest, and heartbreaking, this is a major work by a masterful artist.

Softcover, 6x9, 96pgs, Full Colour $16.95
MAR063221 First Second

Hadn't heard about this one before, but any publisher that's going to be doing a new Eddie Campbell book in the near future (and hey, has just announced another Campbell book for 2007, The Black Diamond Detective Agency) automatically gets some attention for their other releases, and this seems like it'll be an interesting book. There are several preview pages up right now, and the art looks really strong, and it's good to see some acclaimed international comics get wide release in North America.

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