Written and drawn by: Nicolas Robel
Published by: Drawn & Quarterly
I liken the visual style of Fallen Angel to that of a kaleidoscope—we see colorful fragments of reality, all of which coalesce to form a particular picture, or series of pictures. The slightest movement, the most fragile repositioning, and the image is lost forever, replaced by a new, equally colorful and disjointed mosaic.
Each page of Fallen Angel is a kaleidoscopic vision of sorts. Writer/artist Nicolas Robel draws—rather, paints—a breathtaking sequence of irksome visuals paired ever so carefully, ever so peculiarly, with a phrase, an utterance, perhaps a short sentence or two.
It took all of two minutes to read this book, and another hour or so to reread it—each page, each interaction, each monologue, confuses further the book’s potential meanings.
Fallen Angel is a young man’s, perhaps an older boy’s, internalized struggle to find meaning—and ultimately identity—in a world he understands naught, and which he is at a loss to describe, much less fit into.
Barnabé, our hero, seeks simplicity, relative comfort, and above all keen insight into himself. Armed with knowledge sought after but not found, he falls deeper and deeper into the quagmire of a full-blown existential crisis—suicide, murder, the destruction of the known world—these are fantasies made almost palpable for Barnabé, who cannot help but feel anger and resentment toward a world and society seemingly unwilling to embrace him, or at least help him find his way.
Through tormented dreams and tortuous hallucinations, Barnabé indeed does find something—what that something is, or rather its relative value, is of course determined not by Barnabé or his author but by the reader.
Illustrated fiction this engaging, this sensual, this overtly psychological, is a rare find. I highly recommend Fallen Angel to those brave enough, and clever enough, to read it.
- Prismatic Wanderings in Nicolas Robel’s Fallen Angel (comicsforge.com)
- A Fallen Angel~by rldubour (ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com)
- Since when do Gingerbread Men sell ice cream? Examining Greg Cook’s Catch As Catch Can… (comicsforge.com)
- Fallen – A Book Review (nishitak.wordpress.com)