Namelessness. Anonymity. Invisibility.
For the protagonist in Jerome Ruillier’s new Drawn+Quarterly-published graphic novel, The Strange, these three things are inextricably linked — and while all of them are, to one degree or another, imposed upon him by society and circumstance, the first two are undeniably de-humanizing (even if, fair enough, he’s a dog), while the third is key to, if not his freedom, at least his continued survival in the country he is attempting to scratch out a subsistence-level “living” in.
And sticking with the theme of anonymity, it permeates this book throughout : not only is its central character never saddled with a name, neither are the countries of his birth and residence. This could be happening anywhere. To any immigrant.
Ah, yes — immigration. As far as issues go, they don’t come much more timely and topical than that, do they? In the last few years, as…
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