An incredibly beautiful graphic novel by a precociously brilliant young Belgian author. The start of a great career.
Hubert is a solitary man who shapes his life by going to museums. He talks to few people and only about museums and art. When his neighbour downstairs, a lonely woman, tries to seduce him, he doesn't understand. He takes photos of the pictures he likes - usually of beautiful women - and paints copies of the paintings at home. There is only one real woman who fascinates him; she lives in the opposite building and he can see her balcony from his window.
One of the most beautiful graphic novels Jonathan Cape has ever published, Hubert marks the beginning of a great career.
“Gijsemans, meanwhile, is one to watch.”
James Smart, Guardian
“This is a wonderful book, and I want everyone to read it”
Rachel Cooke, Observer
“This beautiful, moving book isn’t only about what it is like to be too much alone; to turn its almost wordless pages is briefly to replicate the experience. The deafening silence of its frames are at moments as crushing as lead… This is a wonderful book, and I want everyone to read it. Its emotional and visual economy is extraordinary, Gijsemans showing such (precocious) daring when he devotes six, nine, even 12 frames to the smallest ceremonies… His drawings, washed out but somehow lush, too, are so tender and telling.”
Rachel Cooke, Guardian
“Hubert is a brave and emotional piece of storytelling… Created with amazing care and stunning empathy…. Hubert’s movements, mannerisms and characteristics also unfold beautifully… Repeat viewings let you pore over the pictures to see the subtlety of Gijsemans’s touch, which can squeeze more into a panel than can be explained in a hundred words. It’s a beautiful story, beautifully told.”
Andy Shaw, MYM Magazine
“Does an excellent job of representing both paintings and the buildings which house them. His interior and exterior work is highly skilled, and he has a talent for short runs of panels that zoom in on details of sculptures and paintings, as well as architectural features… A curiously meditative effect, like a series of snapshots of Hubert’s life… This is an original and distinctive work, undeniably beautiful and thought provoking.”
Pete Redrup, Quietus
“A book about loneliness in the big city that comes with some of the most delicately gorgeous illustrations I’ve seen in years.”
Rachel Cooke, Observer, Book of the Year