Two Graphic Novels by Max de Radiguès











Bastard by Max de Radiguès. Fantagraphics, 2018. 9781683961307. 174pp.

Hobo Mom by Charles Foresman, art by Max de Radiguès. Fantagraphics, 2018. 9781683961765. 62pp.

Belgian comics creator Max de Radiguès’s Moose was an amazing YA graphic novel about a kid dealing with an ethical conundrum: whether or not to let his bully die. His two new books deal, in one way or another, with the ethics of motherhood. (And he has several more about to be published in the U.S.)

In Bastard, May and her young son Eugene are on the run after taking part in 52 robberies in one city as part of a gang. After escaping the cops and burying their loot, it becomes clear they’re still not safe. A kind truck driver offers them a chance to lay low for a while, but it’s hard to tell if he’s really a nice guy.

In Hobo Mom, Natasha rides the rails to where her ex and her daughter live. It’s clear she broke his heart, and Sissy has no idea that Natasha is her mother, but Natasha wants to get to know her. After she stays with them for a bit, they start to form a family of sorts, but it’s unclear if she can or should resist the pull of the road.

I love the way de Radiguès’s simple art lets him suddenly mix adult moments into what look like kid-friendly books, in a way that really shakes things up. And I really loved the subtle use of colored screen tones in Hobo Mom — just a nice touch. (I met de Radiguès at NCSfest in May, and he said that he and Foresman drew the book together, passing pages back and forth, and that he inked the final pages to make the art look unified.) Anyway, I’m a huge fan.

Next up on my list by him: Rough Age, another graphic novel about teens, out from One Percent Press in August.


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