by Pascal Girard
GIRARD REVISITS THE CHILDHOOD DEATH OF HIS LITTLE BROTHER – HIS MOST EMOTIONAL AND SPARE WORK
Burdened with grief, confusion, and anger, Pascal Girard explores the childhood passing of his five-year-old brother. Girard delves into the emotional repercussions of this life-changing trauma, from his memories as a nine-year old struggling to understand up until present day, twenty-five years after the shattering loss. At the heart of Nicolas lies the question shared by most undergoing bereavement: why? This confusion multiplies for a young boy with few answers to his questions, lacking even a basic explanation of the cause of his brother's departure. As sorrow and guilt are muffled by time and the flurry of even the most typical childhood and adolescence, this is a story of grief not grieved, and a glimpse into the ongoing process of reckoning. Pascal struggles to reconcile the magnitude of this tragedy with the minutiae of his daily experience of loss. Nicolas is a delicate, minimalist portrait of the many faces of mourning, identified with surprising humor and pathos by an artist who knows them intimately.
Originally published in a micro-run ten years ago, Girard creates new comics and an introduction that contemplate the larger effect of Nicolas's death on his current behaviors and habits. With masterful visual restraint, Girard pens a work of great honesty and integrity: Nicolas resonates long after the book is closed, the weight of the story echoing closely the heft of the personal loss.