‘The Spectators’ illustrates the push and pull of city life

La-et-jc-the-spectators-illustrates-the-push-a-001David L. Ulin at the LA Times:

I'm a walker in the city. For me, the sidewalk is the cornerstone of urban life. In my Los Angeles neighborhood, I go days without getting in a car, walking to the bank, the dry cleaner, the grocery store, strolling the streets in the late summer evenings, watching the sky turn purple, black.

We think of cities as anonymous, as sprawling — and they are. But they are also private, intimate, landscapes suspended between loneliness and community. This is what urban walking offers, a way to navigate the boundary between ourselves as individuals and part of the collective: city as identity.

Such an interplay sits at the center of Victor Hussenot’s beautiful, ethereal “The Spectators” (Nobrow: 96 pp., $22.95), a graphic novel — or is it? — about city walking, city haunting, all the ways the metropolis can get beneath our skins. The city here is Paris; Hussenot is a French artist who has published three books in his native country, although this is the first to appear in the United States.

There is no story per se, just a series of riffs, imaginative leaps. “Each of us,” he observes in a prologue, “sees the city in our own way .… From the rift between sleep and waking bursts of lights .… The mind’s eye is set free .… The invisible is revealed.”

more here.