Fighting gravity

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 Something to pet the cat about
A debut graphic novel from Montreal-based artist and writer Elisabeth Belliveau

An ornately jewelled tiara. Strings ofexcessive beadwork trail off the crown andmake their way down the page. In the midst ofit all, this inscription: âeoeStanding up alone is amiracle with all this gravity.âe

Something to Pet the Cat About, the debutgraphic novel from Montreal-based artist andwriter Elisabeth Belliveau, compiles the artzines that generated much buzz when shebegan circulating them in Montreal.Divided into five segments âe" Country Music,Love, September Album, February and AfterHorses âe" Something to Pet the Cat About is arichly textured world. It is rendered via lushsketches and pencilled notations âe" lists, diaryentries, queries, assertions, meditations andlaments âe" that complexly traverse the turbulentarc of coming into oneself in a new city.

Belliveau poignantly notes the ambivalenceaccompanying this arc: âeoeWe spent all ourmoney on phone cards, so now we have tolive here. Thank goodness.âe

From the cleverly simple question asked bytwo flying birds âe" âeoeWhat has indie rock donefor you lately?âe âe" to more complicatedyearnings âe" âeoePlease drive me far away frommy job. So I can see myself,âe Belliveauâe(TM)ssketchbook diary artworks are heaped high inbeauty. This is precisely because they straddleour fleeting internal dialogues and ourphysical interactions with external spaces.

The result? Belliveau makes tangible the waysin which anxious uncertainties and hopefulanticipations materialize: They exist alongsidethe kitchen table in notes on the fridge, inseashells, cityscapes and seascapes.Belliveauâe(TM)s world is full of possibility. Whereelse can a girl sit silently on a couch andwatch her forearms morph into birds, wingsflapping, ready to soar?

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