A Graphic Novel by Grégory Panaccione
Being able to either go back into time in some way to right wrongs committed, or give warnings to a younger version of themselves is one of those fantasies that most people wish they could achieve. Sometimes things linger in your head forever, haunting one’s mind until adulthood. In Someone to Talk To, a new graphic novel by the fine folks over at Europe Comics, Author Grégory Panaccione shows why such an occurrence might be good in some ways, and bad in others. Having to relive past traumas, or realize how much of “a failure” an adult version of you is in comparison to childhood dreams could be rough, but it might also be the kick in your pants to force a change in your life – to regain some lost potential.
“Samuel is feeling blue, and for good reason! He’s single, lives in a tiny Paris apartment, and is languishing in a job he hates. Alone on his birthday, he decides to amuse himself by calling the only phone number he knows by heart: the one for his childhood home. To his surprise, someone picks up… His past self! All 10-year-old Sam wants to do is play soccer, travel the world, and write books to impress girls. How will Samuel ever be able to tell him the truth without crushing his dreams? It’s time he got his life back on track.”
We find out that the seemingly magical phone calls are only available to both Samuels, and that it appears as if “modern Samuel” can change things for “young Samuel”, but not alter his own life. Fate seems to have a way of stepping in and ensure the timeline stays the same. They help each other through some really tough times, and as a result it seems like the aged Samuel takes hold of his life, cleans himself up, stops being lonely, takes up his old passions again, and finally stands up to issues that have been plaguing his life for years.
One of the highlights of this story was the art style. I absolutely loved Samuel’s facial expressions and his internal over-the-top reactions to things. He might be standing there smiling, but in his head he has bugged-out eyes and his mouth wide open in terror. It reminded me a bit of comics like GTO by Tohru Fujisawa who does a similar thing to similar hilarious results. Most of this comes when Samuel awkwardly tries to hit on Li-Na, a Chinese transfer to his advertisement company that he has fallen head-over-heels with.
The back half of the book has two parallel stories: modern Samuel and his courtship with Li-Na, and younger Samuel dealing with the lead up to the death of his mother. The writing is impeccable and rivals many romantic comedy films I’ve seen. In some ways, the film is vaguely similar to a film I’ve seen called Frequency, with this being better simply due to the use of comedy to off-set some of the darker moments.
This was a great comic, and a real feel good story that I definitely needed today. I always enjoy the quality of the books put out by Europe Comics, and a big thanks to whomever they have choosing books to being over. I have really broadened my horizons with these books, with many of my favorite titles being from them. Grégory Panaccione seems to be an author I need to follow, because if the rest of his works is as good as this he is a person I need to look into. Overall, highly recommended book!
If you are interested in this book, click HERE
NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.