Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Sambre by Yslaire chronicles the life of a family at the time of the French Revolution. The father had been obsessed with eye colour and wrote “The War of the Eyes”. The son Bernard meets Marie, a red-eyed woman, and falls in love with her, even though or precisely because red-eyed people are considered the Sambre's enemy in his father's book.
The comic is striking to look at – all colours are muted, almost greyscale and it makes the red, when it appears, even more remarkable. The story has something of a Greek tragedy, there's this sense that all the characters can't really escape their fate and are doomed from the beginning.
I was at times a bit annoyed by how much Marie defines herself through her love, she doesn't seem to have any other purpose and when she seems to have lost Bernard, she just gives up and drifts. On the other hand, her lack of action lets her survive, but I still found myself mentally yelling at her to do something – anything.

The series is my 15th book for the Library Challenge (although there are five books).

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