War of Streets and Houses

Sophie Yanow. Uncivilized Books (Consortium, dist.), $10.95 trade paper (70p) ISBN 978-0-9846814-8-8
Named for French Marshall Thomas Robert Bugeaud’s seminal 19th-century treatise on urban warfare—written after he crushed an uprising in colonial Algiers—this graphic novel uses Yanow’s experience in the Montreal’s student uprising in 2012 as a springboard for an exploration of matters ranging from the very personal (her experiences as a queer travelling abroad) to the seemingly abstract (including kettling, a police technique used for crowd control). She describes how the ruling classes regulate sexual behavior and threaten to eliminate inexpensive higher education in Canada, which they deem inappropriate for the common folk. Engaging and informative, the book covers a surprisingly broad range of subjects given its brevity. The black-and-white artwork may appear simple but each illustration conveys a wealth of emotional detail, from demonstrations to Yanow’s stripped-down view of herself. The book’s quiet deliberation becomes more impressive with each read; Yanow is an author/illustrator to watch. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/10/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
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