Baby Bjornstrand

Renee French. Koyama (Consortium, dist.), $20 trade paper (132p) ISBN 978-1-927668-13-9
In another set of hands, this graphic novel would have been seen as a horror story. As it stands, however, the book is far more funny than scary. French, (H Day) is known for her enigmatic, often disturbing pencil images and in this outing she focuses on a trio of youths, who encounter a huge-eyed creature during a trek along the shore and are reminiscent of the costumed kids of Peanuts Halloween specials. The tale is loosely plotted, with multiple chapters with strange payoffs that resemble comic strips—a style likely owing to their initial syndication online. French’s customary heavily shaded soft-graphite art has also loosened up accordingly—sometimes she even uses photo backgrounds—and the dialog is primarily comprised of good-natured ribbing between pals. The book rarely dives as deep, taking a place somewhere between the grotesqueries of French’s adult fare and the cuddliness of her kids books. The result is an odd but amusing story for those who don’t always need to take things too seriously. (Sept. )
Reviewed on: 07/14/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
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