Graphic Novel Review: When You Look Up by Decur
Posted on June 17, 2021 at 6:18 am by Gene Ambaum
When You Look Up by Decur. Translated from Spanish by Chloe Garcia Roberts. Enchanted Lion, 2020. 9781592702930. 184 pp.
After Lorenzo and his mom move to a new house, he finds an old desk in his room. It has a secret door behind which he finds a notebook full of strange stories, told in words and pictures made of carefully cut out pieces of paper. The first is about a rabbit stuck in a passage playing catch with an ostrich in a room full of valuable, breakable objects. (It ends with the rabbit being chased by a terrifying lamp creature, which looks like part of the chandelier in the new house.) The second story is about a scout who’s in love with a girl who’s being chased by an annoying dog. (Shortly after reading it Lorenzo befriends a dog.) The next is about birds who work in a strange factory. The stories all seem like they’re real or related to the real world in some way, and eventually Lorenzo finds out why.
This is a beautiful story about making and sharing art and stories — it’s like five short graphic novels in one. And I love the texture of Decur’s drawings, which seem to add height and depth to the pages in much the paper collages do.