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Running from your demons

The Second Kiss

Constantijn Van Cauwenberge (Conz)

‘The Second Kiss’: the title seems to indicate a beautiful love story, but it’s not that simple. Although this graphic novel begins as a classic boy-meets-girl story – teenage boy Ringo hooks the pretty Hanne at a party – the tone quickly becomes less cheery. Hanne gets fed up with Ringo’s adolescent behaviour and their relationship hits the rocks. She emigrates to Australia and it remains quiet for a very long time. Ten years later, she sends an invitation to Ringo and he goes to see her: on his way to his childhood sweetheart, but also fleeing his personal demons.

A fine piece of work by a young author with a lot of daring
De Standaard

Why does Hanne ask her ex to come and visit her on the other side of the world after so many years? What ghosts of the past make it difficult for Ringo to find his place in life? The jigsaw pieces fall slowly and surprisingly into place in this strongly constructed book. Hidden in ‘The Second Kiss’ is a cleverly successful scenario full of flashbacks and flashforwards. Conz chose a visual narration with a limited amount of text, but a great richness of imagery. His dark, expressive pages perfectly fit this loaded story about characters whose past keeps catching up with them.

A human story without corniness, with an overdose of emotions and identifiability
De Morgen