Bubbles & Gondola

Renaud Dillies

Nominated for two Eisner Awards!

On a background of Django Reinhardt, this jewel of poetic fantasy is a fairy tale for all ages with spot on observations about life. Charlie is a mouse who’s trying to write but has a block. Writing is a solitary endeavor. A bird named Solitude comes to visit him to keep him company. We’re never sure he actually exists but in Charlie’s mind, yet he brings him out into the world, dares him to experience the unknown, unblocking his little existence… A drama about the blank page for Charlie who so wants to make the world more beautiful with his writing, we are transported into a tender and moving tale with a twinge of lyrical melancholy yet sweet, warm and ultimately elevating.


"Why I finished it: I loved the dreamy sequence where Mister Solitude visits Charlie, who is reluctantly riding a gondola wheel. He says, "Gondolas deprived of liberty. Sad airships of an impossible adventure," and urges Charlie to enjoy the view. (When Charlie does, he realizes his gondola is flying above the clouds.)"

"7.2/10. Full of small surprises, pleasurably mopey."

"A delightful and well-executed story recommended to those needing a spiritual lift or creative inspiration... fresh, quirky perspective."
Library Journal

"Disguised as a cute animal story, Dillies's substantive tale of writer's block, social anxiety, and the magical and restorative powers of allowing oneself to take a break and have fun proves striking in its visuals and narrative."
-School Library Journal

"Dillies' art evokes the work of an earlier poetic penman, George (Krazy Kat) Herriman, though with a trace more detailed elegance. (The book's carnival scenes are particularly splendiferous.)"
-The Seattle Post Intelligencer

"An artistic style recalling Herriman's Krazy Kat and a fanciful imagination evoking St. Exupery’s simple, elegant flights of whimsy."
-Broken Frontier

"A certain magic is demonstrated when an artist, unfettered by perceptions of comics being for kids, uses the full paint box of tools available to him. The wild imagery, wandering through parties and dreamland alike, transports the reader in an emotional way that propels the practical mind into the escape of art."
-Publishers Weekly starred review

A Publishers Weekly "Graphic Novel as Gift 2011"

"This dreamlike meditation on creativity and finding value in life is not understood so much as succumbed to. Reminded me of the work of Winsor McCay in its dreamlike logic."
Comics Worth Reading

81/2 x11, 80pp., full-color hardcover, $16.99
ISBN 978-1-56163-611-2

Not available as an e-book.