Equinoxes

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Graphic Novels -

Cyril Pe­drosa, NBM Pub­lish­ing Hard­cover $44.99 (336pp), 978-1-68112-080-5

Cyril Pe­drosa fol­lows up his well-re­garded graphic novel Por­tu­gal with the am­bi­tious and beau­ti­fully drawn Equinoxes, which com­bines the dis­tinct sto­ries of sev­eral mod­ern-day in­di­vid­u­als, and the word­less tale of a boy liv­ing thou­sands of years be­fore, into a tran­scen­dent mo­saic that ex­ceeds the sum of its parts.

The book is di­vided into sec­tions ti­tled “Au­tumn,” “Win­ter,” “Spring,” and “Sum­mer,” and this, com­bined with the weather shown as the char­ac­ters go about their lives, refers back to the ti­tle and helps to an­chor the book. But Pe­drosa links his sto­ries in other ways, pri­mar­ily through a pho­tog­ra­pher who snaps shots of peo­ple who catch her in­ter­est. The per­sonal lives of her sub­jects are fur­ther re­vealed through the nar­ra­tive, which Pe­drosa de­liv­ers in pages of art and words, as well as oc­ca­sional stand-alone text.

Be­fore Pe­drosa turned to graphic nov­els, he gained ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing on Dis­ney an­i­mated films, and in Equinoxes, he uses sev­eral styles ef­fec­tively, in­clud­ing a sim­ple, clean, Dis­ney-like style for the cave­boy scenes, and a sketchier, grit­tier, more com­plex look for the mod­ern-day seg­ments. Pe­drosa’s use of color, in a di­verse pal­ette to in­di­cate mood, is equally note­wor­thy through­out the book.

Equinoxes is an en­joy­able graphic novel to read through, thanks to Pe­drosa’s al­ways ap­peal­ing art­work, but it’s more dif­fi­cult to ab­sorb its en­tirety with­out a sec­ond, deeper pe­rusal. Equinoxes, then, stands wor­thy of recog­ni­tion for sat­is­fy­ing the some­times overused la­bel of “comics as lit­er­a­ture.”

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