This is what in French is called bandes dessinées, and in English something between a graphic novel and a comic. It isn’t really a graphic novel, it doesn’t have the necessary length. It’s like a picture book for adults. A British friend of mine was commenting that when she first arrived in Brussels she was really surprised from all these adults who were reading children’s books. Well, they aren’t really children’s books, and yes there are some weird ones among us that we love to read them. So let me tell you about this book: I went into the bookshop at Place Flagey today, because I was looking for another book and happened to look at this. As an old bookcrosser, I was immediately hooked: the story of a book left on a bench so that someone else finds it? This person is certainly a bookcrosser but doesn’t know it yet! The story goes like this: a young woman finds a book left at a bench in the park only to find that the person who has left it there has also left a secret message inside. She gets really into the story of the book and trying to guess where it comes from, she reads it day and night, it’s all she talks about to her boyfriend, her colleague and friends. I’m sure all you book addicts out there will see yourselves at her character. The scene where her boyfriend is reading his phone manual and she can’t put down her book is a real gem! I won’t tell you where this goes or what happens next, but it’s a picture book for all booklovers, bookcrossers or not out there. The drawings are really beautiful as well. I am not good at describing visual arts but I like this traditional comic style that reminds me of the comics I was reading as a teenager. The story is written by Jim, who says that is actually based on a real person who goes around leaving her books somewhere in the city because she cannot stand to “imprison” them in bookcases. The drawings are made by Mig and the colours are added by Delphine. A real pleasure! I am looking forward to the second and last part!
Bonus: Stephane De Groef – You don’t own the road. This is the book I was looking for. Another little gem of a book made of drawings from a road journey across American highways. You feel you are travelling as well and you will marvel at the originality
of some of the signs… Stephane De Groef is a Belgian designer and here is his Tumblr