3.02.2007

Graphic Novel Of The Month

Aya (Drawn & Quarterly): Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie deliver a rare depiction of life in the Western African nation of Cote d' Ivoire. Abouet's vibrant writing and Oubrerie's lush, detailed layouts (reminiscent of Joann Sfar) capture the universal struggles of adolescence, small town politics, and basic human urges. I was particularly taken with the full page shots that Oubrerie fills with mood; they become incredible snapshots of isolated moments in time. Abouet's script is a very honest look at a progressive Ivory Coast culture that comes across unforced and totally organic, while varying widely from what the rest of the world usually sees in the media and commonly perceives to be "African." It's such a humble open look at the culture that she even includes authentic recipes for ginger juice cocktails and peanut sauce in the back of the book. What a rare treat this was! Grade A+.

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