Saturday, March 06, 2010

Book-A-Day 2010 # 31 (3/6) -- Little Nothings: Uneasy Happiness by Lewis Trondheim

Uneasy Happiness is the third collection of French cartoonist Trondheim's online diary strip -- you can read it for free (in French) any time, but you have to wait for these yearly collections if you want it in English or between paper covers -- after The Curse of the Umbrella and The Prisoner Syndrome.

There's only so much any reviewer can say about someone else's autobiographical comics -- particularly if those comics are generally single-pagers focusing on everyday life, without any larger stories to anchor them. And, since I've already reviewed the first two books (check out the links in my first paragraph), I don't have much to add now.

Trondheim is still working in an engaging loose-but-professional watercolor, with vignettes rather than bordered panels, and his life follows the same patterns as it did in the previous years: the big Angouleme comics festival, a major trip to the South Seas (Fiji this time), shorter vacations to somewhat closer regions (and usually more French, as well, like this year's Reunion Island), and a whole lot of ordinary life in between. The strips in Uneasy Happiness, like those in the first two books, tend to be about the quotidian details of his everyday life, usually ones in which he shows himself to be neurotic, quietly contemplative, or investigating the world around him.

So the pleasure of Uneasy Happiness are small ones: seeing a fine cartoonist articulate a feeling you've had yourself, watching him stumble through the confusing bits of life as we all do, occasionally vicariously living the life of a famous cartoonist through him. It's likely to be far too quiet and contemplative for most habitual readers of North American comics -- but, then, that's only their loss.

Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index
Listening to: Immaculate Machine - Nothing Ever Happens
via FoxyTunes

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