GRAPHIC NOVELS
Luisa: Now and Then
Maurel, Carole & . Life Drawn: Humanoids. Jun. 2018. 272p. tr. from French by Nanette McGuiness. ISBN 9781594656439. pap. $29.95. F
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In 1995, 15-year-old Luisa enters a Paris bus and exits, somehow, in 2013. Or, in 2013, 33-year-old Luisa suddenly encounters a lost and confused version of herself at age 15. Either way, the younger Luisa is both mystified by cultural differences big and small in the 21st century but mostly taken back by her future self, a disillusioned food photographer living alone in a small Paris apartment. Moreover, the elder Luisa isn't too thrilled at suddenly having to answer for more than a decade's worth of compromise and disappointment. This tale from French creator Maurel (Apokalypse), adapted into English by Tamaki (cocreator, This One Summer), straddles both coming of age and coming to terms with middle age, sending a familiar plot in fascinating and bold new directions, as both versions of Luisa are forced to acknowledge their repressed sexuality in order to move forward.
VERDICT A funny, touching, and beautifully illustrated and colored story about self-acceptance with equal appeal to adult and YA audiences.

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