by Philippe Dupuy
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Format: Hardcover, 7 x 10, black and white, $24.95
Reviewed by: Publishers Weekly
Best known for the Mr. Jean series that he collaborates on with Charles Berberian, Dupuy strikes out on his own in a graphic novel first published in French in 2006. Looking more like the sketches for a novel than the novel itself, Dupuy's loosely imagined fantasy is structured around an episodic series of "Run Movies" wherein the runner has incidental encounters and thoughts. Interspersed with these episodes are recollections of dreams, presumably from the runner's unconscious, of uncommon darkness (usually of the violently sexual mythological variety). Eventually the two series begin to merge, as in "Run Movie #3," wherein the runner falls into an empty museum and is informed by a barking dog that "oddly enough, bare spaces sometimes invite the most curiosity." Dupuy's loose sketches evoke the occasional shiver of discomfort, but sometimes he brings the dark dream world into sharp focus. In one story, the runner encounters an erudite duck living in a fantastically large house, after which the two have a conversation that begins in the ridiculous but ultimately edges into the sublime. While Dupuy's artwork and sometimes cruel-seeming viewpoint toward his characters repel at first, eventually the book becomes like a dream itself, next to impossible to resist.