Thursday, May 15, 2008

Paul Moves Out by Michel Rabagliati

I've finally caught up with the middle of the "Paul" books -- this one came in between Paul Has a Summer Job and Paul Goes Fishing, in 2005.

It has more of a central plot thread than Paul Goes Fishing did; it's all about the early days of Paul's relationship with his wife Lucie. (Well, she wasn't his wife then, but you know what I mean.) He meets her, she meets his parents, they move in together -- that whole kind of thing.

Like the other "Paul" books, it's not told in a straightforward linear fashion, but Moves Out loops around a lot less than Goes Fishing did, and does focus on one time in Paul's life, rather than bouncing between several.

Moves Out covers the years between 1979 -- when Paul met
Lucie at their art school, Studio Seguin -- and 1983, when they move in together. There's a lot of relationship stuff, some art-school teachings (including the inevitable influential teacher who turns out to be gay), and the couple's relationship with Paul's freespirited aged great-aunt Janette. The end of the book also has a long sequence about a visit of Lucie's two nieces (very young at this point) for a day and a night.

I thought Moves Out held together as a single story much more than Goes Fishing did, though Goes Fishing has some stronger individual scenes. Still, Rabagliati is a consistently charming cartoonist, who easily manages the difficult task of turning his own life into fiction without becoming self-indulgent.

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