Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Leaning Girl by François Schuiten, Benoît Peeters

Rating: WORTHY!

Since Belgium is having such a good run in the World Cup (as of this writing!) it seems like a good idea to review this graphic novel by Belgian comic artist François Schuiten and written by Benoît Peeters. It was such a weird tale that I couldn't not read it!

After a ride on the Star Express roller coaster, 13 year-old Mary Von Rathen starts going through some lean times. That is to say: she is constantly leaning in the same direction, no matter which direction she faces. So let's say purely for example, that she leans towards the east. If she's facing east, she's leaning forwards, if she's facing west, she's leaning backwards and is similarly inclined at every compass point there is. Except that she doesn't lean in an easterly direction - she leans based on something that;s not in this world - a scientific phenomenon that people are studying to find answers.

No one believes that Mary isn't faking this for attention, and she becomes an outcast and eventually she runs away and joins the circus where her balancing act (which requires no effort on her part or parts!) is a sensation, but when she discovers there may be a man who can help her, she runs away again to track him down, and ends up as one of Earth's first astronauts! There she finds what she's been seeking - people with a bent similar to hers, you might say!

This book was beautifully drawn in black and white shaded line drawings, and very well written and it mixes photography with hand drawing and real people with the comic versions. I recommend it.