Jérôme Ruillier's The Strange hits the shelves today!
It follows the story of an undocumented immigrant, his story told by those surrounding him: his new landlord, someone on the bus he asks for directions, a grumpy taxi driver, a crow, an pro-immigration protester, and many others. Standing out and yet blending in as the archetype of the undocumented immigrant, the main character could be from anywhere, could speak any language, could be arriving anywhere in the West.
Ruillier uses coloured pencils and harsh colour filling, limiting his colour choices to red, orange, yellow, and green. This limitation contrasts the limitations of the main character, who fears deportation on a daily basis, every one of his moves a risk, lest he fall into the hands of the police.
This is the harsh reality of an undocumented immigrant.
In some instances, the story is told from the perspective of a crow, a strange animal itself.
A distance intimacy is forged between the strange person and the strange bird,
both outsiders in their own ways.
Interspersed with quotes about immigrants and immigration that are unattributed, the graphic novel shows the different perspectives surrounding ''the immigrant'', contrasting the anger, the indifference, or the generosity that different people feel towards ''foreigners".This choice allows the story to jump from a singular person's experience to a commentary about immigration and safety
all around the world.
For more on this book, check out what the editor has to say here!