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Street View: A Wordless Play in Ten Scenes and One Set

Review

Street View: A Wordless Play in Ten Scenes and One Set

A clever suspense thriller. A romantic drama. An artistic journey. Another day at work.

All of these stories interweave and walk together across a city block in Pascal Rabaté’s new book, STREET VIEW: A Wordless Play in Ten Scenes and One Set. Rabaté uses a Japanese album format to frame his narrative, allowing readers to flip the book over once they have completed the first side. Pascal evokes 10 scenes, grouped five to a side. Each set of five is an act in a two- play, and each panel represents one of five days. Act One is set during the mornings of this week, while Act Two is set at evening time.

"He planned all of this --- down to the last brush stroke and the format of the book to present it to readers as 'just so.' No more, no less, and completely worth every moment."

The oil painting in STREET VIEW is quintissential Rabaté. He is painstakingly meticulous in his planning, writing and character blocking, and a light self-deprecation bleeds through in his work. It isn’t hateful, or self-disdaining. It’s playful and sarcastic, with its own confidence and self-awareness. In a way, he is representative of the European cartoonist --- a caricature of a French cartoonist and auteur. He planned all of this --- down to the last brush stroke and the format of the book to present it to readers as “just so.” No more, no less, and completely worth every moment.

STREET VIEW plays out as a “day in the life” story combined with an homage to all things Hitchcock. It is actually 10 day-in-the-life stories with a murder mystery subplot. It requires several readings to know for certain what happens to and between each character on Pascal’s pages. With a little enticing detail here and there, a reader is tantalized into following every moment to its end.

While the work is brief, I have gone over it countless times each sitting, and over numerous re-reads, I didn’t once give up looking for all the details.

Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge on December 11, 2014

Street View: A Wordless Play in Ten Scenes and One Set
by Pascal Rabaté

  • Publication Date: December 11, 2014
  • Genres: Graphic Novel
  • Hardcover: 54 pages
  • Publisher: NBM Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1561639087
  • ISBN-13: 9781561639083