I went to a lovely convention, Kids Read Comics, a few weeks ago. I learned lots about graphic novels (mostly for kids, but still) and met several lovely librarians. At least one of whom I referred to this blog, and in the process discovered that “graphic novels” is a pretty teeny tag in my cloud, and I hadn’t reviewed any gns recently. Pretty pitiful given the amount of time I spend picking out what to buy for my collection. So I thought it was time for me to actually read a few more.
French Milk by Lucy Knisley This memoir in graphic form has been getting some good press. Knisley and her mother, both celebrating birthdays – 22 for Knisley and obviously older for her mother – decide to spend a month together in Paris. While there, they look at lots of art, do a fair amount of shopping, and eat lots and lots of good food. Some reviewers commented on the nuanced portrait of the mother-daughter relationship; I didn’t really notice this much. There was good commentary on the art, which I should have expected from someone enough into art to be drawing a memoir. Somehow I was surprised anyway. I was less surprised by the loving commentary on the food, given that the book is named for her love of the milk in France – many, many meals and snacks drawn out, with written descriptions. I put this in adult again because I wasn’t sure how many teens it would appeal to; the most graphic it gets in terms of actual sex or violence is a mention of missing her boyfriend with a drawing of a wrapped condom. There is also some humorous nudity in the art references, as Knisley talks about how tired she is of the female nude as a traditional art topic, showing a couple pages in a row full of sketches from museums. This is worth looking at for the lover of France or food.