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Wednesday, 10 February 2010


As part of our Valentine's season, please read on and discover a tale set in 1950s Paris

Writer: Andi Watson
Art: Simon Gane
Publisher: SLG publishing

What's it about?
Set in 1950s Paris, American art student Juliet is broke, living in a shared flat with bohemian Parisians, and studying at a prestigious art school.  One day she is commissioned to paint a portrait of a young English woman named Deborah.  Deborah is residing in Paris with her overbearing Aunt, who is also acting as Chaperone.  They meet and a soft and gentle romance develops between the art lovers, unfortunately events conspire to keep them apart.

What's good about it?
This is a lovely gentle read with all the drama simmering below the surface.  It's not loud, or brash, or demanding your attention like some of the more superhero orientated comics we review here.  Instead, as you read this, you will be quietly sucked in, drawn into the world of Paris in the 1950s, full of artists and revolutionaries, and upper class English women bemoaning the state of foreign countries.

Andi Watson gives each character a distinct voice with distinct patterns of speech that portrays their background, personality and attitude to life in just a few short pages.  He makes them believable and you end up hoping and praying that Juliet and Deborah will get through this ok.  The French speakers are given French vocabulary which helps with the state of immersion that Juliet is experiencing, living in a strange country.

This isn't a book about the difficulties of being gay.  It's not a coming out story and it's not about homophobia.  The characters happen to be gay but their orientation isn't really important.  What is important is their personalities, their loves and their desires in life.  In addition to this, there are no sex scenes.  It's not a tale about a torrid or steamy gay love affair (that review comes later in the week), instead it's all rather chaste and innocent.

What's bad about it?
Some people might find a lesbian love affair set in the 1950s that doesn't cover homophobia or the social consequences of being gay a bit difficult to believe.  However as this isn't a political novel I find that a difficult criticism to swallow.  Most scenes take place in the private sphere so the social climate and fears of what others may think isn't really relevant.

I have seen criticisms of the art, specifically that it can be considered a bit flat.  Views on art, as in all things, is largely a personal thing.  I however would not describe it as flat.  I found parts of it quite emotive and other parts quite fluid and full of life.  I think the artist does an excellent job of conveying the stiffness of upper class society at the time, as well as the comparative looseness of the French revolutionaries.

What's the art like?
My views on the art are largely detailed above, but to assist you to make up your own mind, have some scans:


Other information
Price: £8.50
ISBN: 1593620810


  1. I find that the art can be a make it or break it point for me. If the art doesn't intrigue me I find that I don't want to read the comic.

    I looked up Paris at my library but it's not there. However it does have Clubbing also by Andi Watson.

    Thanks for doing this blog and introducing me to many graphic novels that I probably wouldn't have been exposed to because they're not available at the major bookstore chains in the US.

    Speaking of Paris have you read "Gemma Bovary" by Posy Simmons? It's a retelling of Emma Bovary.

  2. I agree with your views about the importance of art. That's why we always include scans on every review.

    I'm very glad you've found this site useful! Thank you for the kind words.

    I haven't heard of Gemma Bovary, but I shall put it on the list to search out. Reccommendations are always gratefully received!

  3. Just got Paris based on this recommendation. it's a cute little story and some of the plot points I saw coming. Still, I enjoyed it and the art work was a large part of the enjoyment. It's so stylized and each page has so much going on that there's a lot to look at. So it's a fast read plotwise, but I intend to go back and my time in looking at each page.

  4. Hi Red. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming back and letting us know! :)