Love, Volume 4 The Dinosaur by Frederic Brremaud & Frederico Bertolucci

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Love, Volume 4 The Dinosaur written by Frederic Brremaud and illustrated by Frederico BertolucciLove, Volume 4 The Dinosaur written by Frederic Brremaud and illustrated by Frederico Bertolucci

Love, Volume 4 The Dinosaur written by Frederic Brremaud and illustrated by Frederico BertolucciLove, Volume 4 The Dinosaur (2017) is the newest in a series of wordless graphic novels written by Frederic Brremaud and illustrated by Frederico Bertolucci, each of them following an animal type (a tiger, a lion) through their days. Dinosaurs, thanks to their massive popularity would seem an obvious choice in the series, and they get prime treatment in a gritty, vividly illustrated adventure tale.

Interestingly enough, the story starts small, focusing on an insect and a small shrew-like mammal. They’re quickly disturbed though by the massive foot of a sauropod crashing down as it wanders by while munching the foliage. Just a few panels later, a smaller dinosaur (a bambiraptor I believe, though I’m not sure) enters the picture, and over the next 60 or so pages, we follow these two, and then a T-rex tracking them, as they move through various terrain and past various dinosaur types. All of it culminating in an epic battle against a stormy backdrop, which in itself presages what we all know is coming — the fiery end of an era.

Although there are no words, one truly gathers a sense of narrative here as the images progress and though they’re not anthropomorphized — the creatures consistently act as animals — one does feel a sense of individuality and if not “personality” something roughly akin to it, even if it’s our own nature that puts it there. Because these are animals presented as such, we get the full “red in tooth and claw treatment”: predation, goring, jugular-izing (as my son once liked to call it), and entrail-ripping. Brremaud does a nice job with tension/suspense balanced by moments of peace, and it all builds wonderfully to a truly cinematic ending.

Bertolucci’s illustrations, as mentioned, are wonderfully, colorfully vivid and realistic. The dinosaurs are unique and individualized and the terrain sharply depicted, creating a true sense of place. As well, the visuals show a wide range as Bertolucci zooms in and out between close-ups of individual bodies or even parts of bodies and wide-open landscapes. We also get the full range of physical settings, following animals in the sky, along the ground, and underwater. And the depiction of the firestorm at the end is done on an epic scale.

Despite the wordless nature, the situational narrative combined with the vibrant illustrations makes for a compelling story filled with action and. Highly recommended.

The previous volumes in this series are:

Love Volume 1: The Tiger (Love Hc) Hardcover – March 10, 2015 by Frederic Brremaud (Author), Federico Bertolucci (Artist)Love Volume 2: The Fox (Love Hc) Hardcover – November 10, 2015 by Frederic Brremaud (Author), Federico Bertolucci (Artist)Love: The Lion Hardcover – June 21, 2016 by Frederic Brremaud (Author), Federico Bertolucci (Artist)

Published February 7, 2017. Life in the primordial swamps of prehistoric Earth was a daily trial of survival, especially for the smaller dinosaurs just trying to get by without being trampled, attacked, or eaten. Not even the biggest beasts were safe, as there always seemed to be an even bigger threat looming on the horizon. This exciting tale, written by Frederic Brremaud, is told without narration or dialogue, conveyed entirely through the beautiful illustrations of Federico Bertolucci. A beautiful, powerful tale of survival in the animal kingdom that explores the all-too-identifiable, universal concepts of Life, Courage, Aging, and ultimately Love. The fourth volume in the lavishly illustrated series of wildlife graphic novels, each following a single central animal through an adventurous day in their natural environment. Each tale depicts genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling, like a nature documentary in illustration.

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BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is an English adjunct by day and a writer by night. His essays and stories have appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other literary journals, along with a few anthologies, and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of Best American Essays. His children's work has appeared in several magazines, while his plays have been given stage readings at GEVA Theatre and Bristol Valley Playhouse. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, or teaching, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course or the ultimate frisbee field.

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2 comments

  1. Wow, that artwork! The use of light and shading does make it nearly three dimensional in that aquatic page.

  2. Such an interesting concept, and the artwork is truly stunning! Thanks for putting this on my radar, Bill!

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