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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,949 ratings  ·  183 reviews
Quand un retour aux sources imprévu devient renaissance à soi-même.
Plus vraiment d'inspiration, plus d'envies et pas de projets, l'auteur de BD Simon Muchat végète doucement dans son boulot d'animateur scolaire, et exaspère Claire, sa compagne, qui le voudrait plus investi.

Invité à passer quelques jours au Portugal, dont sa famille est originaire et où il n'était plus allé
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published September 16th 2011 by Dupuis (first published March 26th 2010)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,949 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
My second graphic novel by Pedrosa, whose Equinoxes I read in the last year and loved. But that novel is sort of abstract, an impressive four season multi-layered story. I gave five stars to it, but I had to look at my review to even begin to recall what it is about. It's a work of art more about the form and how the ideas get expressed through the form than the specific characters.

This kind of forgetting will not happen with Portugal, which I picked up because I have been slow-reading (it's lik
A. Raca
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I had never felt so alone.
But I felt good."

Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Only way for me to describe this comic is: very human. It has a very natural flow and character.
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: portugal
I cherish this beautiful, warm, captivating book. An artist going through a creative/personal trough chafes against his girlfriend, his family, his clients, then finds new meaning in his life and work in his ancestral village in Portugal.

It's a story that could only have been told as a graphic novel; prose or even film wouldn't do it properly. There are very few words, and the majority of those are banal smalltalk. The artwork, taken as individual pieces, is for the most part not something to li
Stewart Tame
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely gorgeous book! Simon Muchat is a comics artist who's lost his direction in life. He suffers from writer's block, and is stuck in a job that he hates. He feels like he’s going nowhere until he gets invited to appear at a comics convention in Portugal. His family emigrated to France from Portugal, and he hasn't been there since he was a kid. Once there, he feels the beginnings of a connection, and grows interested in his family history …

This is a very warm, rich graphic novel
Murat G.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Portugal has a special place in one of my tiny lists; "have visited and gonna visit again countries"

And I felt the streets, atmosphere, warm people of this beautiful country through this graphic novel once again.

Perfect colors, perfect drawings.

The story is also absorbing even if it is a kind of cliche; A free spirit man who doesnt know what to do with his life investigates family history to know what to his life..etc..

What i wanna say is I would not like this graphic novel that much if it didnt
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Portugal, I immediately added more Pedrosa to my TBR list. Great style, in both story and art. This tale winds through geography and family history, changing perspectives and focus in the story to different family members.
The main story revolves around Simon, an uninspired artist living in France. He visits Portugal for a cousin's wedding and reconnects with family members he hasn't seen in decades, thus discovering himself and finding deeper inspiration. A familiar trope, but a s
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Such beautiful art. The colours! This story isn't bad either. But the art is great. ...more
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I fell in love with this graphic novel! Those moments of life, the good and the bad, touched my heart because I found my family in them. (expatriate family too)
I really liked the themes covered through Simon's journey, the search for our roots, for inspiration, for identity.
Ho and it looks fantastic by the way! ^^

In short, another gem by Cyril Pedrosa <3
Vivek Kulanthaivelpandian
A Portuguese-French artist’s life crisis, search for family history and heart warming family reunion shown in a very unique and beautiful sketches.
Derek Royal
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd be hard pressed to determine which I appreciate more, this work by Pedrosa or his most recent one, Equinoxes. While the latter might be more ambitious, this one is more successful at what Pedrosa set out to do (from what I can determine). The three-part narrative structure works well at making this a seemingly ensemble story, while in reality focusing primarily on just one figure, Simon. This is a hefty tome, one definitely deserving the tag "novelistic." ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm not really sure how to review this because I usually review Portuguese books in Portuguese, French books in French and English books in English, but this is a French book translated into English and a lot of the characters speak Portuguese, which is not translated (the protagonist's attempts to understand, and to learn to speak to his neighbours form part of the storyline). Acho que usarei as duas línguas em quais eu li.
This is a beautiful book: It's big, it's a hardback, it feels like the o
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel is absolutely gorgeous. I love Pedrosa's drawing style and use of colour and given the large format of this book, they really shined here. Every single page is a treasure and full of so much beauty.

The story itself is told in three installments and is very humane. It's a story about family, who your relatives are and what you really know about them. And how you might not know much because your family hasn't wanted to keep in touch. At times I struggled to keep up with who is
Mateen Mahboubi
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning and methodically slow work. Nothing is rushed and Pedrosa takes us through a relatable journey into family, home and roots. Don't come looking for action and adventure, come for real life and contemplation. There is even time for some lost in translation frustration and a car breaking down. I have no idea how much of this book is auto-biographical but it doesn't matter. I think that most people will find something familiar here. ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
quick thoughts: the story didn't always flow for me. there were some gaps that went unaddressed and some transitions that felt abrupt. However, what this graphic novel does EXCEEDINGLY well is both capture specific emotions that can be hard to describe with mesmerizing artwork. I did not want this book to end. I spread out my reading to increase how much time I spent in the characters in France and Portugal, and the author's search for his roots and belonging. ...more
Larnacouer  de SH
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I had never felt so alone.
But I felt good.


Lost and found.
Nelson Zagalo
Magnificent trip. Pedrosa has created a truly contagious storytelling approach, while reading this book I could feel its atmosphere tones transforming my mood in the moment. A lot is said, but most of it serves more the contextualisation than the progression of the narrative. We feel Pedrosa is always creating the space and time of that fictional universe, where he wants to transport us. For that he uses not only the dialogue but also and so well the drawing and even better the colour. In genera ...more
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My first encounter with Pedrosa. An epic and poetic search for origins and how they shape families and what we are today.
With Shaun Tan and The arrival, this is another of these books that kept me smilîng and daydreaming when I finally put my eyes on the last page.
I loved the artwork for this graphic novel! The story itself was enjoyable, but there were also parts where I was a little bored since there wasn't a clear plot. ...more
Oktay Eren
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
The book was about a guy whose family has immigrated from Portugal to France and he currently lives in France with his girlfriend. It is kind of an autobiographical book in the very beginning of the comic, we witness the struggles of the hero in his life, trying to get inspired to produce some kind of work and put his life in order. I think that the struggle of the hero is very important because that kind of struggles lead to some kind of searches in life to make your life more meaningful and to ...more
Matt Graupman
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cyril Pedrosa’s “Three Shadows” is one of my all-time favorite graphic novels. It’s a gentle, melancholy meditation on loss and the lengths to which a parent will go in order to protect their child; it’s an epic tale told on an intimate scale and, frankly, it’s pretty much perfect. Pedrosa’s “Portugal” is a different kind of beast. Where “Three Shadows” aspired to be something akin to a myth, “Portugal” takes every opportunity to be much more realistic; “Three Shadows” is an ethereal campfire st ...more
Nom Chompsky
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic
I picked this up because I wasn’t ready to be done with Pedrosa after finishing Equinoxes. I couldn’t have imagined that this would be even better, as the premise is a bit too narrative and familiar (go to yr roots, travel the old country, find yrself, whatever), but this is just so thoroughly rendered, so rich and just, mm, nothing of the scene or the moment is ever sacrificed for the sake of cultivating drama, and everything just flowsssss. If I had to find a complaint it’d be that I don’t wan ...more
Dakota Morgan
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simon's feeling lost. He has a job, a great girlfriend, a nice place (and a little debt). But his artistic well is dry. Naturally, this leads to a series of poor choices that cause his nice little life to collapse. So when Simon receives an invite a cousin's wedding, he's inclined to go if only because he has little else to do.

There, a family reunion features unexpected, but not world-shattering revelations. This is the core conceit of Portugal - it's important to know yourself and where you cam
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great story, very slow and meditative on family, identity, history, memory. Beautiful watercolor illustrations by the author/illustrator. A French artist remembers his childhood and travels to his family's ancestral home in Portugal while trying to make sense of his life--including love life--and career. The book is broken into 4 sections that focus on the perspective (through the lens of the main character, Simon Mucha(t)) of Simon or one of his relatives. I imagine some of the book would be mo ...more
Carla Sofia Sofia
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
As the daughter of Portuguese immigrants to the US and as someone who spent a year living in France, I really really wanted to love this book. Instead, I just liked it somewhat, in the moments I wasn't annoyed by it. The artwork is inventive and thoughtful; the code-switching was really delightful; I enjoyed seeing the carefully woven family dynamics at work. But oh my gosh, the trope of the struggling artist who just can't decide what to do with his life coupled with the casual sexism thrown in ...more
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was recommended to me as one of the best graphic novels around. I don't agree and think it is at the low end of three stars. It is an artists journey to find his roots in Portugal, and its a bit slow and vague. I think lots of family stories are vague, but I like a little more clarity in my fiction. There is also a lot of Portuguese which is not translated in order to emphasize the protagonists lack of understanding, but its a little irritating. The artist also has a technique of illustrati ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 --> 3 stars.

Well firstly, I was expecting much more from a slice-of-life book basing on a country and its characteristics, since I enjoy travelling and learning about them. And Portugal is one of the countries I haven't been yet.

The main character is definitely a minus for me. I HATE people -both real persons and and fictional characters- that don't have a settled and developed personality, and just wandering aimlessly. So he just annoys me.

The family bonds are also lacking in terms of sin
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As the child of two Portuguese expats, this resonated strongly with me. The nostalgia you get for the "home country" is something, I think, that most first generation children experience as they get older. There's something about it that's essentially comforting, especially if you have the good fortune to be able to go back and visit.

The expressiveness of this book brought me to the edge of tears at points, the sheer nostalgia poignantly expressed. Perhaps it's hard to replicate if you haven't b
Jessica Haider
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
1 of 2 books I was accidentally reading simultaneously that were partially set in Portugal! (other was The Tenth Island). It's funny how sometimes I coincidentally end up reading books with similarities due to timings of library holds and reading challenges. :)

This over-sized graphic novel (good luck fitting this one in your purse!) focuses on Simon, a writer/artist who grew up in France and feels stagnant in his life and his writing (also similar to main person in the Tenth Island). He begins a
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
As the child of two Portuguese expats, this resonated strongly with me. The nostalgia you get for the "home country" is something, I think, that most first generation children experience as they get older. There's something about it that's essentially comforting, especially if you have the good fortune to be able to go back and visit.

The expressiveness of this book brought me to the edge of tears at points, the sheer nostalgia poignantly expressed. Perhaps it's hard to replicate if you haven't b
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Cyril Pedrosa began his career in animation, working on the Disney films "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Hercules." He has since become a rising star in a new kind of graphic storytelling, combining the influences of animation and the literary traditions of Borges, García Márquez, and Tolkien to create a unique visual handwriting. ...more

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