Available in English for the first time—the internationally bestselling graphic novel and an Official Selection at France’s prestigious Angoulême Internaional Comics Festival by master illustrator-storyteller Chabouté (Park Bench, Moby-Dick).
On a tiny lighthouse island far from the rest of the world, a lonely hermit lives out his existence. Every week a supply boat leaves provisions, its occupants never meeting him, never asking the obvious questions: Who are you? Why do you hide? Why do you never leave? What is it like to be so alone?
Years spent on a deserted rock—a lifetime, really—with imagination his sole companion has made the lighthouse keeper something more than alone, something else entirely. For him, what lies beyond the horizon might be...nothing. And so, why not stay put? But one day, as a new boatman starts asking the questions all others have avoided, a chain of events unfolds that will irrevocably upend the hermit’s solitary life....
Filled with stunning and richly executed black-and-white illustrations, Alone is Chabouté’s masterpiece—an unforgettable tale where tenderness, despair, and humor intertwine to flawlessly portray how someone can be an everyman, and every man is someone.
Translated from the French by Ivanka Hahnenberger.
Christophe Chabouté published his first work, Stories, based on the work of Arthur Rimbaud, in 1993 in France. Since then, he has received numerous prizes for his very personal illustration and storytelling style. When Alone, a wholly original work of his, published in France, it was widely hailed as his masterpiece and was an Official Selection at France’s prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival. He is the illustrator-storyteller of Park Bench.
"This small, graceful story becomes a lush fairy tale through Chabouté's stunning black-and-white art . . . Widely regarded as his masterpiece. It's a visually stunning humanist fable."
– Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Alone
"Alone offers a glimpse through a window into a vastly different visualstorytelling culture. This is a narrative style that affords 9 pages to pick, panel by panel, through the details of a single room, and in which the main character doesn’t even appear until page 109. In a nearly silent story, Chabouté uses acute detail and tactile, sensual black lines to carve an expansive vision from confined spaces, and draws a deep emotional reservoir from simple actions, tiny moments, and small gestures. This kind of pacing and focus creates resonant, textured space, both physical and emotional, and turns a story filled with gothic trappings into something strikingly poignant."
– Booklist (starred review) on Alone
"[Chabouté is] a master of black and white, with evocative panels and a skill using swaths of darkness to create a sense of place without excessive detail."
– Paste Magazine
"[A] beautifully illustrated and carefully paced tale filled with equal parts sadness, humor, and tender moments of human connection that examines the powers of creative limitations, made all the more memorable for its minimal dialog. Already an international best seller and selected for the prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival in France, available here in English for the first time, this ultimately moving story about an unlikely and surprisingly inspiring protagonist is sure to be embraced by all readers.”
– Library Journal on Alone
"This black-and-white graphic novel is a visually poetic, thought-provoking tale of how isolation contrasts with the rich realm of the imagination... The result is a wistful and evocative story that explores the power of the imagination and a yearning for connection."
– Shelf Awareness of Alone
"One of the most wonderful comics I've read in a long time. Beautiful.”
– Jeff Lemire, New York Times bestselling author of Roughneck and Essex County
"Chabouté is so masterful at telling a clear visual tale... as true a use of the comic medium as you’re likely to see."