Graphic Novel Review: Piero
Posted on January 24, 2019 at 8:00 am by Gene Ambaum
Piero by Baudoin. Translation and Introduction by Matt Madden. New York Review Comics, 2018. 9781681372969. 125pp.
This somewhat autobiographical graphic novel follows Baudoin (Momo) and his brother Pierre (Piero) as they develop their drawing talents. A fantastic moment early on, in which an alien needs dreams to fuel his spaceship, is followed by a powerful blast of energy from his gun to erase the memory of the alien’s visit. Later, after the brothers draw castles together, they fill the page with battling knights and huge explosions. Most of the time the brothers draw, hang out, and dream together.
The book is filled with beautifully rendered childhood moments, many of them about being lost in creativity. (There are also a few moments of palpable childhood terror.) The energy evident in the action-packed scenes seems to be lurk behind every panel.
Madden’s introduction makes me want to see more graphic albums by Baudoin done in brush work, which is apparently his trademark. This book was drawn with a Rotring pen, but it’s a beautiful example of what a gifted storyteller can accomplish with such a simple tool.