Graphic Novel Review: Paul at Home by Michel Rabagliati

Paul at Home by Michel Rabagliati. Translated by Helge Dascher and Rob Aspinall. Drawn & Quarterly, 2020. 9781770464148. 204pp.

Paul is a cartoonist in his early 50s, though folks tell him he looks older. He lives alone with his dog, Cookie. His neighbor, Wilson, obsessed with his garden, is less than impressed with the way Paul takes care of his yard. But Paul doesn’t have a lot of time to spare for Wilson’s concerns; daughter is soon leaving for England no matter what he thinks and he can’t sleep. Plus his mother Aline lives alone, and she seems lonely, but maybe that’s only because Paul himself is lonely. Aline’s has been ill, too, and (minor spoiler) this book is about the end of her life as much as it’s about Paul’s middle age.

This, the latest, of Rabagliati’s Paul graphic novels, is my favorite. His drawings make me feel nostalgic for a past and a place I’ve never seen, and in reading the entire series I feel like part of Paul’s family. It’s worth noting there are a few laughs here, too, including a few great moments at a book fair.

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