By Dustin Cabeal
I was left with slightly mixed feelings about this book, but only because it made me feel dumb at the end. I didn’t get the ending; it didn’t quite click with me which was a shame because the rest of the book was delightful.
Showtime for intent and purposes takes place entirely in a car. There are other scenes of the story, but they too are being told from the car. It’s about a journalist that’s on his way to interview a magician by the name of M. This dude makes David Copperfield look like a baby as we learn of several of his tricks. The journalist eventually picks up three people that wrecked their car in the rain and are on their way to the same event, but it’s a book about magic, so nothing is what it seems.
The narration is powerful. The journalist's storytelling in interesting, it hooks you and makes you want to know more. What’s even better is that the art shows more than the journalist says. You can catch his intentional inaccuracies between the narration and the artwork. On a personal note, I love when stories do this, narration should only be part of the story and never the entire story. The dialogue is fluid and flows naturally with the story. The main character is the only person with depth, but his interactions give the story depth.
As for the artwork, it’s very free-flowing. There’s sometimes panels, but for the most part, it’s like thumbnails without borders. They’re detailed, so it’s not an actual thumbnail, but there are several instances in which smaller panels will be stacked next to each other. The details also change at times, which is intentional. There is a mature scene in the story, and the art becomes very vague. The style has a name, but for the life of me I can’t remember it and looking up an artist style’s name that you can’t remember is next to impossible. There’s a lot of variety and a ton of skill to the artwork as it shifts styles for the different story beats. Visually it’s one of the most impressive stories I’ve read this year.
While I was a bit confused by the ending, I still really enjoyed this story. For as long as it is, it moves quickly and is not a book you want to put down. My recommendation is not to read it while at the laundromat, I had to put it down several times and was annoyed every time. Aside from just being a unique and intriguing story, it’s very artistic. There’s an art to the storytelling, and it’s more than just panels and conveying the narrative. Each panel is beautiful on its own, which is I why I’m giving it a strong recommendation.
Creator: Antoine Cosse