- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: First Second; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159643239X
- ISBN-13: 978-1596432390
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Three Shadows Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Rarely has the succulent appeal of quiet country life been portrayed with such sensual skill as it is in Pedrosa's limpid graphic novel about a boy, his parents and the trio of hooded riders who watch them. Pedrosa adeptly establishes the mood of timeless bucolic idyll immediately, with his swirling, sometimes harshly etched, black-and-white renderings of the land cultivated by hulking farmer Louis; his wife, Lise; and their scampering boy, Joachim. The family's playful antics are overshadowed first by ruminative narration, then by three riders, who watch the family with unnerving patience from the foggy distance. A local witch tells Lise that the shadows have come for Joachim, after which Louis impetuously makes a run for it with his son, warned that he must treasure every moment with the boy. The resulting story is more Appointment in Samarra–style dream than chase, with Louis and Joachim floundering from one mysterious episode to the next, the implacable shadows following, as in a nightmare. French artist Pedrosa's background as a Disney animator is clearest in his exaggerated movements and facial expressions, but the story (inspired by the death of a close friend's young child) is a glorious and revelatory fable, beautiful in its grief. (Apr.)
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Country life is simple and sweet for young Joachim and his parents, Louis and Lise—filled with cozy winter nights, lazy summer days, and, always, the chores associated with running the orchards. One day three Shadows appear on the horizon, and everything changes. Louis and Lise know that these shadowy fates have come for Joachim. Determined to save the boy, Louis flees with Joachim, desperate to stay one step ahead of the deathly Shadows. Pedrosa’s intriguing, poignant fable unfolds beautifully in both words and pictures. The fluidity of the art reflects Pedrosa’s roots in animation, and the high-contrast shading effectively underscores the tension and emotion of the narrative. One brief instance of nonsexualized nudity should be noted, but that detracts not at all from this dark, well-crafted tale. Grades 9-12. --Tina Coleman
Top customer reviews
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If I had only 4 words to describe it they would be; Mythic. Epic. Tragic. Fantastic.
Cyril's gorgeously diverse art style reminds me of Disney aesthetic mixed with Asian calligraphy (excellent brushwork) and old folk-fantasy. Coming from an animation background, the work is loose and inspiring with plenty of great character design. I enjoyed the moments of silence sprinkled throughout, (i.e. initially as the family lives out their peaceful lives.) Also Cyril's depiction of atmosphere is spot on.
The story is also quite unique, and features some unusual plot twists, moments of humor, triumph and tragedy. You get a sense the author was familiar with the experiences of the characters, yet he allowed them to express themselves honestly.
Definitely a worthwhile work. I'd read anything from Mr. Pedrosa any day.
At once heartbreaking and astounding, Three Shadows, by french artist Cyril Pedrosa, is a kind of therapeutic journey for the author who watched the young son of his best friend die early.
With a story like this (especially involving characters such as the Three Shadows who are actually angelic creatures, gentle and kind) I would have liked to have seen more reference to God and heaven... but the author simply states that the Three Shadows are the carriers and do not know what lies on the other side. It's a bit too easy, that. And Pedrosa has a vague moral ambiguity that I have to shake my head at. I would like to have seen more GOOD from the characters coming out of their situations... its the thing that seems to be missing. I realize that the father's first priority was to see to his own child... and that there was much more in the character than we get to see in the book. I actually heartbreakingly love the father. I get choked up thinking about him... but I still think there is something lacking.
All in all though, Three Shadows is a journey you won't soon forget and the art is simply breathtaking.
One last note... the artist, being french, does not mind drawing his characters in the nude. Not sensually, just nude.. as in swimming in the lake or sleeping at night.