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.”