Graphic Novel Review: When You Look Up by Decur

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.


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