Cynara's Reviews > The Wrong Place

The Wrong Place by Brecht Evens
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May 08, 12

Read in May, 2012

In vivid, vibrant rainbow of water colour Evens charts the anxiety, spontaneity, palpable awkwardness, heartbreak, ugliness, beauty and moments of chaos that characterize human social interactions and connections. The text and dialogue is loose and spare, allowing images/colours carry much of the book's weight. The basic story revolves around the luminous character of Robbie, a charming bon vivant whose name is always on everyone's lips, and who draws everyone into his orbit whenever he enters a room. He is contrasted with the dull (the character is, in fact, grey in colour) and repressed character of his childhood friend Gary, who, even among his friends is overlooked. Gary is sympathetic and relatable (when attempting to host a party, rehearses his script in the bathroom and struggles to hold his guests attention). But rather than deeply develop the characters, Evens suggests the night clubs and parties as characters themselves.

I particularly loved the kinetic collapsing of Evens illustration style in Robbie's lovemaking scenes, as well as the lush, visually dense double-page spreads of packed subway cars, overcrowded night clubs, and a multi-level staircase teeming with house-party guests. Evens style deftly captures our desire to be special/individuals (to matter, to stand out) at the same time that he communicates the feeling of isolation in a crowd and the fear of being socially eclipsed. The artistic decisions are smart, innovative and visually poetic--like having the characters' dialogue colour match their clothing, so you can keep track of who is speaking at the same time that there is a sense of people talking over each other, conversation literally hanging (free of the structure of speech bubbles) in the air. Evens is one to watch, The Wrong Place is stunning.
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