The Shadow of the Cross
Part 1: Imprisonment
Again and again, the Cathars attract the attention of various authors. I have reviewed several books related to them here. This time, it’s a very short graphic novel, the first part of The Shadow of the Cross.
The 34-page books is mostly illustrations. It has one page of introductory narrative and a couple of pages of short dialogs.
After the siege of Montségur in 1243, a small group of Cathars managed to escape to a nearby village, until they were finally discovered. An innocent young man does not understand why a young woman is tortured. So he…. well, you have to guess or read the book.
I was disappointed that the book was so short. Even if the book is published in parts, I think it should at least have 50 pages, as most are illustrations.
BUT, those are wonderful watercolors! The artist is really gifted with colors.
There’s a bit of everything, including illuminations style for the first pages.
There’s also a fabulous sense of movement.
From colors, to faces, to landscape, to architecture, as an artist myself, I REALLY found the art excellent. I kept reopening the book to look at them, not for the story itself.
One thing seems odd to me: the style of the speech bubbles seems too modern and too oversimplified. It does not fit the high quality and sophistication of the paintings on which they are presented. I think something as simple as the choice of font would do the trick.
Also, the cover does not give justice to the beauty of the book.
I actually did a spotlight on the book at the beginning of December. I invite you to go back to it to learn more about the gifted artist, to watch an interview he did for Words And Peace, and find links to his art, etc.
VERDICT: A super short but gorgeous graphic historical novel on an important page of the Cathars history in the south of France.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GRAPHIC HISTORICAL NOVEL?
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