THE GREEN HAND AND OTHER STORIES, BY NICOLE CLAVELOUX, TRANSLATED BY DONALD NICHOLSON-SMITH
The Green Hand and Other Stories is a collection of visually arresting comics by Nicole Claveloux in their first English language printing. These comics, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith, lead readers on a bizarre journey through the imagination to encounter talking vegetables, murderous grandmothers, and bumbling bureaucracy. Through the absurdist tales Claveloux manages to touch on remarkably astute explorations of darker human emotions while maintaining a sense of gallows humor. From the vegetable who would like to be a panther, but is too filled with his own feelings of inadequacy and anxiety to achieve his dreams, to the pessimistic bird who suffers such jealousy of the serenity of a potted plant that he viciously kills it, these comics unveil each character’s psyche with the ruthlessness of a Hieronymus Bosch painting, complete with unexpected anatomical details.
An innovator in the use of expressive color in comics, Claveloux’s illustrations are equally compelling whether they appear in psychedelic color or understated black and white. Together, they offer readers an escape from the ordinary into a visionary, artistic dreamscape.
—Review by Rome Morgan