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AFTER THE RAIN by Andre Juillard

AFTER THE RAIN

By Andre Juillard

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-56163-223-6
Publisher: NBM

French comics artist Juillard, best known for his graphic novel, The Blue Notebook, here picks up a few characters from that work, and spins off a full-color narrative that’s best when he relies strictly on wordless frames. Juillard’s cinematic simplicity and his amazingly detailed backgrounds overwhelm the intrigue in the foreground—a commonplace thriller with few surprises. Abel Mias, a chubby Parisian schoolteacher, spots in a local gallery a photographic portrait of his old friend Tristan, a sculptor who disappeared a year earlier. The recent photo confirms that Tristan has indeed run off with the stunning Clara, an enchanting—and married—beauty whose desperate husband enlists her sleazy brother in an ill-fated plot to find her. Abel spends his vacation near Florence, tracking down the slim leads, and proves more efficient than the police. The final violent sequences, with murders and an attempted rape, display Juillard’s stunning visual skill. Elsewhere, he enhances his story with thugs straight from the film Diva and a splendid sequence worthy of Hitchcock—Abel witnesses a crime through binoculars. Only the final, wordy denouement detracts from this otherwise taut and sophisticated tale.