<<• edited by Chris Polkki •>> Don't let the fact that some of your favorite comics anthologies are concluding their runs get you down: there's a world of comics out there waiting to be discovered. Take this swell 100-page anthology from 2005, for example. We thought it was long gone, but we stumbled on a source and so are eager to let late-comers in on this swell package of comics from around the world, with a special emphasis on the Japanese avant garde. Bête Noire features what we believe was the first North American publication of Yuichi Yokoyama, as well as works by fellow Japanese manga masters Junko Mizuno, Ichiba Daisuke, Takeshi Nemoto and Suzy Amakane. Also on hand are Helge Reumann of Switzerland, Anke Feuchtenberger of Germany, Ludovic Debeurme, Lucie Durbiano and Caroline Sury of France, as well as artists from Italy, Spain, Finland, along with Kevin Scalzo, Renée French and cover artist David Heatley from the USA. Recommended for readers of Kramers Ergot, MOME and Blood Orange (which Mr. Polkki also edited).
Originally published in France in 2006 where it received both the René Goscinny Prize and the Angoulême Essential Award. Here's the official hype from the book's US publisher, Top Shelf:
After years of acclaim in Europe, graphic novelist Ludovic Debeurme makes his English-language debut with a book of quiet grace and staggering emotional power.
This rich and intimate story follows two teenagers, Lucille and Arthur, as they struggle with the complex legacies inherited from their families: legacies of illness and pride, of despair and hope. Somehow two lonely misfits form an instant connection, and with the intoxicating boldness of youth, they journey together across Europe, discovering each other, discovering themselves, and hoping against all odds to make their own destiny.
Lucille is more than a story about anorexia, alcoholism, and adolescence. It’s a story of love amidst tragedy, full of the halting awkwardness of life and the operatic grandeur of teenage emotion. -- A 544-page deluxe softcover graphic novel with french flaps, 6.625" x 8.875"
"Moving and rich." -- GQ France
“Lucille impresses as much by the power of its drawing as by the subtlety of its dialogue and plotting... it alternates tender moments of joy with scenes that evoke tears... Tremendous.” -- Didier Pasamonik, ActuaBD
"A coherent, compelling narrative... Debeurme gets underneath what makes these young lovers tick, and is realistic enough to realize that they’re too inexperienced and impulsive to fix each other. Still, the love affair in Lucille burns bright, illuminating two lives." -- The AV Club
"For a story about the search for freedom, to be yourself, Debeurme’s approach makes the most of the freedom of the comics medium. ...It’s a wonderful, satisfying experience in itself to read and savour and easily one of the truly unmissable bande dessinée translations of the year." -- Paul Gravett, author of Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life
"The type of story the graphic novel was meant for."-- Kelly Stephenson,Playback:STL
"A stunner... Lucille is definitely one of the most significant graphic novel releases of the year." -- Heidi MacDonald, The Beat
"Sublimely pretty... Debeurme has one of those art styles to die for: elegant, able to convey reams of information in a single line, and so easy-on-the-eyes that looking up and off the page almost always ends up a minor disappointment." -- Tom Spurgeon,The Comics Reporter
"A deserved prize winner at Angoulême. Debeurme has created characters of tremendous depth here, who succeeded in tugging on my heartstrings and drawing me in." -- Jonathan Rigby, Page 45
"There's a lot of sudden, surprising violence in Lucille (and maybe in Lucille) but there's a lot of heart, too... the story is solid and heartbreaking and it just feels true." -- Paul Constant, The Stranger