Graphic Novel: The Adoption by Zidou and Arno Monin

This slice of life French graphic novel was full of feelings, exploring the ups and downs of a new grandpa. The title grabbed me from the get go. Adoption has always been an intriguing topic to me, perhaps because my best friend was an adopted baby and we talked about that numerous times as teens, trying to figure out how we fit in the world. It always adds more complex feelings on things.

The story follows Gabriel, retired, uninterested by his son’s life and his new adopted peruvian grand-daughter but who suddenly finds himself on babysitting duty. This is the typical gruff old man plot, who doesn’t want to be bothered by others, has his own things to do and thinks he has no place in his life for any more people, especially demanding ones… but surprise surprise, his heart is right there for the taking and he can’t help but melt for his new granddaughter, so quiet, full of traumas and in desperate need of love.

The soft pastel colours of this book are very soothing. They did make me feel like we were walking into the life of an elderly couple. I liked that, a kind of nostalgia palette with lots of shadows of ending days, I’m sure there was something symbolic about that. The drawing of the characters was a little cartoony, more caricatural, that is less my style, but it was slight and did not bother me in my reading. Overall the images were very pleasant and the big eyes of the little girl are so very soulful.

This is a story with a twist. And it is a well done one that is given time to developpe. It is a sad story. Warning, this is not a graphic novel for those who like fast paced works, but for people who like to sit down and enjoy the moment slowly. I like those kinds of graphic novels, I find them peaceful, even when they talk about very serious topics. This is for a more mature audience who like contemplative comics, and serious topics. There is no hard edges here, I would recommend it to people who liked films like “As good as it gets”.

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