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A charming and evocative portrait of a cat and his person

Sugar

Serge Baeken

‘Sugar’ is a comic story about life as seen through the eyes of a cat. The protagonist is a tomcat who shared the fortunes of the author’s family for eighteen years. Other feline friends who joined the Baeken household also have chapters devoted to them: Tim, Jeff, Milk, Igor, Maya, Pogo and Rikki. Through Sugar’s eyes, we see the family moving house, a daughter growing up, and the comings and goings of a playmate.

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Despite the lack of words, the reader is immediately drawn into the story. Baeken has pulled off the clever trick of projecting the reader into Sugar. He plays with perspective, allows the reader to help search for escape routes and regards the humans with contempt. And it works.

The fixed grid of 24 panels per page, divided into six strips of four squares, that the talented Baeken imposes on himself is anything but an obstacle to his limitless creativity. In masterfully drawn black-and-white pictures, he juggles with the narrative structure and page layout in this quirky and appealing graphic novel.

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