Sunday, September 28, 2008

'Three Shadows'

by Cyril Pedrosa
Translated from the French by Edward Gauvin
Fiction/Graphic Novel, 2007 (English translation, 2008)
First Second, soft cover, 269 p.
Back then, life was simple and sweet. The taste of cherries, the cool shade, the fresh smell of the river… That was how we lived, in a vale among the hills – sheltered from storms, ignorant of the world, as though on an island, peaceful and untroubled.
And then…
Then everything changed.
This was a moving story of the love of two parents for their child and how they cope with the uncertainty of his future. As it says on the back flap, “Three Shadows was born out of the agony of watching his close friends’ child die very young”, and as such it felt very real and emotional. He’s also taken a dark story about death and turned it into something almost beautiful.
I didn’t always love the artwork but it was always interesting, and Pedrosa did a great job of telling the story through brush strokes instead of words in many places. The author has a background in animation and you can really feel the movement of many of the scenes from his unique style.
Thanks to Popin’s review (see below) and the Graphic Novels Challenge for the nudge to read this, I’m glad I did and am now looking forward to my next graphic novel.
(click to enlarge)

You can see the first 11 pages here, and another excerpt, showing the arrival of the shadows, here.
Interview with the author.
More info at

My Rating: 4/5
(#40 for 2008, Graphic Novels Challenge, R.I.P. III Challenge)

Also reviewed at:
Popin's Lair
katrina's reads
Reminder: If you have also read and reviewed this title, let me know and I'll add your link here.


  1. I haven't ready many (any?) graphic novels, but that cover is incredibly eye-catching. Thanks for the review!

  2. I really need to pick this one up. It sounds just like my kind of book.

    I love artwork that gives you that sense of movement.

  3. This does sound good! I will have to look for this one.

  4. Wow, this sounds amazing! You know I'm always up for a new-to-me graphic novel. :D

  5. Fyrefly- It's a great cover, isn't it? It definitely helped influence me to buy it! I've only read a very small handful of graphic novels myself- Persepolis, Maus, this one..

    Nymeth- I think you'd enjoy it. If you haven't already, check out the sample pages that I linked to in my review. It'll give you a feel for the artwork.

    Wendy- I haven't read many graphic novels but it's been interesting to see the different styles of each one.

    Andi- LOL. Yes I do know that! :)
    I'd love to hear what you think of it if you get your hands on it.

  6. This sounds wonderful. I've enjoyed quite a few graphic novels this year and what I've learned is that I really like those that are somewhat biographical or have that kind of feel to them. Oddly enough I don't really read many memoirs but somehow in graphic format they really appeal to me.

  7. Iliana- I don't usually read memoirs either but that's primarily the type of graphic novel I've read too. Interesting! :)


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