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The Spectators (Hardback)Victor Hussenot (author,illustrator)
The Spectators unfolds as a poetic and philosophical introspection on the nature of man. Victor Hussenot's palette is awash with subtle color, gently carrying the narrative and allowing the reader to envelop themselves in the lyricism of the work. Reminiscent of French New Wave cinema with its clipped dialogue, gentle pacing, and departure from a classic narrative structure, The Spectators is an exciting new graphic novel by a unique illustrator.
Publisher: Nobrow Ltd
Number of pages: 96
Dimensions: 190 x 150 mm
—Los Angeles Times
Hussenot’s work combines the colorful geometric look of Brecht Evens and the powerfully metaphorical comic abstractions of Olivier Schwauwen in a book that’s a dark, visual delight filled with big ideas.
The Spectators brings all the gravity and nuance one would expect from such a unique talent. The art alone is not what makes this graphic novel stand out so brilliantly, but also the main theme Hussenot dives into: the philosophical idea of everyone being a spectator in their own lives. […] A philosophical idea on its own is very hard to explain, and even more so with few words and pictures. Hussenot shows how it can be done right with this book, and as a result, readers all become spectators of something magical. Nobrow produced this graphic novel in their gorgeous bound hardcover editions, with intense detail to color and presentation, and they have created a beautiful addition to anyone’s collection. […] Truly a wonderful read, to think upon and to take in --- and one you will cherish for looking at on multiple levels.
—Graphic Novel Reporter
It’s a treat, honestly, this art. It’s almost luxurious in how comfortable you feel just gazing upon it. It guides you as you float from page to page, unsure of how you know you’ll keep moving forward. […] The Spectators is not your average comic.
The introspective nature of the text is tempered by the bright hues of the gorgeously rendered watercolor panels, lending an unsettling, almost cheery intensity to the intentionally vacant facial expressions. Hussenot’s angular illustrations glow with sunset colors or slip into shadows, matching the quietly eerie tone of the text. […] those interested in exploring the idea of individual realities will have plenty of fodder for discussion.
A beautiful work of stunning color and subtle complexity, The Spectators establishes Hussenot as one of comics’ great humanists, an artist who asks great questions with an intuitive grasp of their innate simplicity.
Stylized palettes of particularly blues and purples with shots of red and orange, or strong combinations of primary colors dominate. The striking combos flatter the soft watercolor or gauche artwork. Overall the entire piece is reflective on the transient nature of people and life, but it’s not without its whimsy. The narrator shifts from person to person and takes identities off like a pair of boots or unzips them entirely like a costume. The transference of character is compelling to follow and well worth a read.
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