Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Louis Riel

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I might not love everything Chester Brown does, but at least he doesn’t repeat himself. Each new limited-run series is definitively different from what he’s done before, and each starts and finishes a single, well thought-out story. His latest series to be collected in book form, Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, follows a leader of a group of Métis (a word for those of mixed Indian/French background) in his battles against the Canadian government. The action is mainly set in what would eventually become Manitoba and Saskatchewan, from 1869 to 1885. The work is clearly the product of careful research, although it does not pretend to be unbiased—in fact, Brown includes a series of endnotes to point out his own distortions and direct readers to more objective and primary sources.

The pages are all laid out in six small panels, and the drawings are fine-lined, careful, and evocative. (In an introduction, Brown says that although many people ask him if his style for Louis Riel was influenced by Hergé, in fact he was trying to imitate Harold Gray.)

On a somewhat related note, Drawn and Quarterly is also re-releasing in serial form Brown’s out-of-print first book, the gleefully insane, scatological, penis-swapping Ed the Happy Clown.

Previews below.



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