Everywhere Antennas by Julie Delporte
6.8 X 7.8
PUBLISHED BY DRAWN & QUARTERLY
Julie Delporte’s Everywhere Antennas is a deeply affecting, sparely constructed novel, equal parts Walden and The Bell Jar. Told in the first person, Everywhere Antennas offers diary-like entries from an anonymous narrator who is undergoing a nervous breakdown and struggling to hold together a failing relationship. In soft, flowing colored pencil, Delporte shows her narrator coming to term with a rare and misunderstood sensitivity to the radiation emitted by the televisions, cell phones, and computers that permeate urban life.
On each page a few words are paired with an image or two, conveying a moment or a thought simply but effectively. Over the course of the book, the anonymous narrator moves from place to place, looking for solutions to her melancholy in the countryside via isolation and in the city with friends and sometimes medication. Throughout, her emotional and intellectual landscape receives as much attention as her physical surroundings.
Everywhere Antennas is the portrait of a woman caught in the margins, struggling to balance the demands of technology and modern life with the need to find meaningful relationships and work. Roughly hewn figures, sketched in pencil crayon on brightly contrasting backgrounds, populate the pages of this flowing, emotive work. With Everywhere Antennas, Julie Delporte proves herself to be a master craftswoman of heartbreakingly personal, beautifully literary graphic fiction.
Everywhere Antennas has been translated from the French by Helge Dascher. Dascher has been translating graphic novels from French and German to English for over twenty years. A contributor to Drawn & Quarterly since the early days, her translations include acclaimed titles such as the Aya series by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie, Hostage by Guy Delisle, and Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët. With a background in art history and history, she also translates books and exhibitions for museums in North America and Europe. She lives in Montreal.
Praise for Everywhere Antennas
The most striking thing about Delporte’s pages is how clear they are. She isn’t bogged down in the language of comics so much as she is invested in the emotional purity of words and images together to weave a story... Everywhere Antennas is a beautiful book and one that moved me as a reader. I find that these are the works I keep close to me. This is the book to give to a dear friend–especially one who doesn’t like to email or talk on the phone. The Comics Journal
[Everywhere Antennas is] effective and affecting, with some really rather lovely art. But, above all else, it’s comics-making as performance art, which in and of itself is kind of astounding. Robot 6 / Comic Book Resources
In a culture that often seems to favour hyper-clever, narcissistic realism, it is surprising to encounter an artist as straightforwardly sincere and genuinely unaffected as Julie Delporte…Delporte’s work is a humble rumination on universal questions of how to live, love, and lose. Quill and Quire
[Julie Delporte’s] beautiful, existential graphic novel, Everywhere Antennas, did not disappoint. Despite its preoccupation with technology, Everywhere Antennas’ rough-hewn scrapbook aesthetic has a vital, refreshing offline sensibility. Quill & Quire Best of the Year
Delporte’s latest is an examination of modern life through poetry and simple but affecting colored pencil drawings…The strength of the book lies in the changing art—the drawings are rougher and less focused when the narrator is in the city (among antennas) and more focused, detailed, clean, clear-headed, and lovely when she is free of the city (and its many antennas). Publishers Weekly
[Delporte’s] drawings are gorgeous, and the way she literally assembles them (some sections were clearly created on different sheets of paper, then taped in) demands interest… [they are] a window into someone’s world, a world that hasn’t been edited to fit a preconceived storyline, making Everywhere Antennas a welcome escape. Paste
Delporte… uses spare writing, a jarringly vivid color palette, and naive drawings to take readers into the diary of her narrator… The use of color and tone is exceptional in this surprisingly affecting and thought-provoking graphic novel that forces readers to consider the role technology plays in their daily life. Library Journal
[A] beautifully rendered new graphic novel...If the prose diarist is often sprawling, tangential, and comprehensive — think of Virgina Woolf’s or Sylvia Plath’s extensive volumes — the graphic diarist must be more formulaic, selective. One simply can’t draw at the speed with which one writes. LA Review of Books
In Delporte’s second book of impressionistic, illustrated diary entries, the Montreal-based cartoonist practices a kind of deceptive simplicity… [her] lo-fi, artisanal methods shimmer with the fluidity of the natural world. The Globe and Mail
[Everywhere Antennas is a] contemplative visual diary… profound moments appear in the most unlikely places. CBC Books Holiday Gift Guide
Julie Delporte’s troubling tale of a quarter-life crisis is an evocative visual treat. Broken Frontier
Julie Delporte’s haunting... fictional journal of a woman is created from sparse entries and beautiful sketches drawn with colored pencil... It’s an intriguing read that draws you along page-by-page, not building to any climax but just meandering in a dreamy way between locations and feelings. Bitch
Everywhere Antennas is… [a combination of the narrator's] penciled thoughts (done in beautiful, colored cursive writing) and her drawings and sketches… The story gains depth by tapping into larger social concepts like the refusal of modernity and an attraction to idealistic wishes for having a more simple life, if only for a brief period of time. Everywhere Antennas is fairly simple, but the way it leaves itself open to interpretation gives it its power. AV Club