Thursday, 26 March 2015

Pablo Review

Review By
Patrick Scattergood

Written and Illustrated By
Julie Birmant
Clement Oubrerie

Coloured By
Sandra Desmazieres

Translated By
Edward Gauvin

Published By
Self Made Hero

Art, Biography


A prodigious talent.  A passionate visionary.  Pablo Picasso.

An award-winning graphic biography of one of the world's best-loved artists, Pablo follows Picasso's artistic career from his origins in penury to the advent of modern art.  Taking in his early life among the bohemians of Montmartre, with all of its scandal and frustration, and his turbulent relationship with his model and lover Fernande, Julie Birmant and Clement Oubrerie show how Picasso's style developed in response to his friendships and rivalries.

An entertaining and beautifully drawn account, this authoritive graphic novel explores the themes and obsessions - among them, sex, death and his great nemesis, Henri Matisse - that drove Picasso to express himself.


Self Made Hero are a publisher that are very well known for their graphic novels that deal with the lives of famous artists, sports personalities, writers and many more.  One of their best biographical graphic novels was Vincent that dealt with the life of the amazingly talented Vincent van Gogh and it quickly became one of my favourite releases from any publisher.

Now they have released Pablo, a graphic novel that takes a look at the life of the artist that some say gave birth to the modern art era, Pablo Picasso.

With a whole catalogue of absolutely brilliant graphic novels in their arsenal, Pablo has a massive legacy to live up to and it does so with ease.

The wonderfully drawn pages really are a feast for the eyes and look absolutely stunning while forming the emotional core of the book.  You really can see the frustrations, the loves and the passions of the characters literally leaping from the page and with a life like Picasso's, it was always going to be hard to do it justice yet the art more than lives up to the challenge.  One of the brilliant strengths of the art is the simple fact that the settings almost feel as alive as the characters themselves.  The scenes are so beautiful and detailed that you could read this again and again yet notice new things each and every time.

There are so many nuances and layers to Picasso's life that it would honestly be nigh on impossible to write about everything without it becoming a book the size of War and Peace yet here, the duo really do create a brilliantly detailed and human look at his life.  There is no glossing over the darker moments in his life as some other biographies have done in the past.  They are more than brave enough to write about his mistakes and when he took the wrong path in his life.  Yet on the other side of things, the writing is so passionate about his successes that it's hard to not feel like you are there right alongside him.

I have to admit that while Vincent is still my favorite of their biographical graphic novels, Pablo is a release from Self Made Hero that is essential for any art lovers collection.  It's so fantastically written and drawn that your heart will both break and fly high during the story and you can't ask for more than that.

Story 8/10
Art 9/10
Cover 9/10
Recommended 9/10
Overall 35/40

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