Ordinary Victories vol. 1
After many years, photojournalist Marc is quitting therapy–and Paris. He still has debilitating panic attacks, but he needs to refuel his creative drive. He moves to the countryside, where an elderly neighbor befriends him. In the wake of an unpleasant encounter with another neighbor, who objects to Marc’s trespassing cat, Marc meets Emily, an attractive veterinarian, and starts an affair with her. When Marc visits his parents, his father reveals that he is refusing treatment for Alzheimer’s. Marc launches a pet project, for which he has already obtained a place in a gallery exhibition, of photographing workers at the shipyard from which his father retired. Brother George, his wife, and their baby visit. The first prints in the project dismay Marc, and he starts over. He and Emily scrap and decide to look for a place together. Several developments resolve by book’s end; meanwhile, Larcenet realizes Marc’s world in a wealth of particulars–Marc and George’s brotherly routines, the elderly friend’s link to Marc’s father, the obnoxious photographer who is the star of the exhibition, and many more. The combination of cartoony but individualized characters and backdrops ranging from blank spaces to near-photographic outdoor settings, and the division of major narrative sections with single-page, bichromatic montages of photorealistic portraits and interior details heighten the sense that this is a genuine and consequential graphic novel.