[Netgalley] Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté

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Hey guys! So here’s another comic review for you all. Actually, I requested this book around the same time as Lighter Than My Shadow and Water Memory. This book caught my attention because of the cover but also because there would be no dialogue. I’ve only heard of this type of books in manga (anyone read Bakuman?) so I was really curious to see how it would translate as an actual book

Unfortunately for me, the e-book expired before I could check it out, BUT I did get it as soon as I could at the library and Oh My

In a way, Park Bench isn’t really a story but many stories and also just one. It starts off with these two kids who end up carving I ♡ U into this bench at a park and in doing so, the boy ends up cutting his thumb. They run off to (possibly) get medical aid after that as the cut did look pretty deep. After this, I thought we would see them again or that the carving was important, but I was surprised. After the two kids we see a variety of individuals interacting with this park bench over the years

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While the art style is not something I usually gravitate towards I was really admiring everything that was happening. Because it didn’t have dialogue, you pay more attention to the use of space, the details, character expressions, and their body language, and I felt like all of it was done well. The amount of detail used in some panels in comparison to the few details in others, the contrast between white and black, the positive and negative space, the recurring characters over the span of time but also those people that only appeared once or twice. I loved it all

Even though there was no dialogue, text did appear in the book in the form of book covers, t-shirt logos, and graffiti, and all of them were very interesting statements. Also, as time passed we got to see how some of the character relations started to change and there was one in particular I found very ironic

Overall, to me this book spoke about things we take for granted. This park bench has been out there for years and people just use it without thinking about it. A dog makes its daily rounds to pee on the leg but ends up using it to take shelter on rainy days, a man uses it as his place to try and earn a few coins, another man uses it to wait for his date, and it isn’t until the bench is unavailable when we start to notice how important it really is. In a sense, that I ♡ U that was carved into the bench felt like the bench was telling it to everyone it interacted with, making this book more emotional than what I expected

And that ending really got me! I ended up rating this book a 4/5 and definitely recommend checking it out


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2 thoughts on “[Netgalley] Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté

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