Graphic Novel Review: Utown
Cab (this artist’s nom de plume) is one of my favourite out of Montreal’s bustling scene of graphic-novel creators. Her main character, Samuel, is a painter struggling with creative block while living semi-legally with his friends in a squalid building on the verge of being condemned. He’s a character with some rough edges, but should we interpret these as staying true to himself, or does he have some growing up to do?
Cab’s clear and expressive drawings are nonetheless adept at capturing messiness—of gentrification, human relationships, the creative process. The story is warm-hearted and funny, while staying unsentimental. Utown has just been released in English, and is worth checking out for any fans of the graphic novel genre.