Written and Drawn by Ludovic Debeurme
Publisher: Top Shelf
Can Lucille overcome her “sick love thing” and burgeoning anorexia to become someone worthy of a boy loving? Can Arthur overcome his obsessive compulsive behavior and not suffer the same fate as so many of the men in his family? Do we care?
It’s no secret that I love independent comics; especially the ones of the “slice of life” variety. Lucille fits squarely in this genre but lacks the heart or even interesting characters of so many other black and white treasures.
Lucille is a teenage girl who lives with her divorced mother and skips school to go and hang out in the nearby woods. She doesn’t have many friends and she doesn’t eat because she thinks she is fat and ugly, which she is not. Her mother is working so hard to support the two of them that she barely notices Lucille’s sickly frame until she is too sick to not be hospitalized.
Arthur comes from a family that immigrated from Poland and his father works as a fisherman on the ocean. After work Vladimir goes down to the local pub and drinks until Arthur’s mother sends him to retrieve his father. After Vladimir gets into a fight one night at the bar with another fisherman he is fired from his job and cannot find work. So he goes home and hangs himself in the front yard. Afterward, as per family tradition, Arthur takes Vladimir’s name as well as a job as a delivery boy. It is at this point that he meets Lucille at the hospital. A romance begins and on and on.
To be honest this story really doesn’t have a solid point. Sure, it’s just a story. The author doesn’t seem to be trying to make any social or political statements here but it seems to just meander along with no real direction. And once we hit the point where we should be getting a conclusion it really lands with a thud. This story could have been so much more. Oh, and the story is set in France. But you wouldn’t know it if not for a couple of references to Paris.
Art is very subjective. As long as the artwork doesn’t distract from the story I am fine with any kind of artwork whether it be simplistic or overly complex. I really do think this simplistic and almost childlike choice for the story helps it a little.
The only problems I ran across are the choice of what is shown in a few of the scenes. Sex and nudity are staples for independent creators. The prevailing train of thought is that a little sex or nudity adds artistic credibility. In this regard it really adds a bit of an uncomfortable framework. Sometimes things should just be implied and not shown.
At five hundred and forty-four pages long this one drags too much. If you like tedious stories with ambiguous ending this one may be for you.
The Story 5/10
The Art 6/10
Overall (Not an Average) 5/10