August 1st, 2013


June Books 22-24) Misschien, Nooit, Ooit, by Kristof Spaey and Marc Legendre

A trilogy of short graphic novels, scripts by Marc Legendre and art by Kristof Spaey, which tell the story of a young photographer in Antwerp whose mysterious new lover, and his ostensible sister, appear to be involved with the nasty end of orgnaised crime in the back streets of Antwerp. The particular gimmick here - which is very effective - is that the three volumes are told from different perspectives, the young woman, her lover, and the Cambodian-Belgian policeman involved with the case, so that scenes we saw in one installment are replayed with quite a different meaning in a later volume. More importantly, we get new and important background information about the central characters in each volume. Spaey's art is superb, and I'll look out for more from him. The story is convincing and the narrative structure is engaging.

I was dismayed at the casual use of "spleetoog" by several of the characters. My impression is that it is a pretty offensive word for people with east and southeast Asian heritage. The third volume, told from the perspective of a Belgian policeman with roots in that culture, missed the opportunity to redress the balance.