Monday, May 25, 2015

The Rabbi's Cat, a Graphic Novel by Joann Sfar

Some months back, I saw the animated film of Joann Sfar's graphic story. So, it was a thrill to get my hands on the BD.

This is a story, I can safely tell you, where a very cynical, rather cruel, and very canny cat acquires the gift of speech. This cat happens to belong to a Rabbi. And, with the advent of speech, it proceeds to argue over various aspects of the religion, mostly with its master, but also with his master and so on. The ideas, while set in the framework of Judaism, are applicable to all religions.

Be it the art, where the nature of people, of the cat, is deftly brought out in a raw style or the sophisticated theological debates, the book is well worth reading if you are a fan of the graphic novel or love a touch of dark humour.

The drawings are very evocative and provocative. How you like them will depend on your tastes. One reviewer praises the artwork

as rich and lovely as the story, full of squiggly lines, tapestried walls, cobbled alleyways, opulent costumes and palpably warm lighting 

while, to another, it is 
mangy and unkempt as the cat, with contorted figures and scribbly lines everywhere. 

  On the last page of the BD, we read that this album is homage to all the painters of Algeria in the XXth century.

You can get a clearer picture about the author and the story from this review.

I would hesitate to add more lest I let the cat out of the bag but, if you are into graphic novels, then you should buy The Rabbi's Cat.

A glimpse of the master's art:

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