Peter Pan (2013)
English | CBR | 364 pages | 598.67 MB
It is clear from the first panel that Loisel has no interest in giving us a white-washed narrative: ’London… cold, hunger and misery merge to set the scene…’ It’s a Dickensian nightmare. The houses are cramped, the streets are full of cynical, selfish people and all is awash in the ordure of poverty. While it’s clear that they all suffer together, there is precious little sense of community. The Londoners prey upon each other like rats in a cobble-stoned coffin. The single factor connecting the adult world and that of the young is a gnawing hunger to escape. So, we come to Peter, a ragged child holding forth to a group of orphans in a tiny yard. When we first meet him, his only magic lies in his words, transporting the children with marvelous stories of far away places and warming their hearts with the ‘words of tenderness’ he claims his mother whispers to him. (That damned harpy!) His struggle to maintain innocence in a tawdry world is heart-breaking, and renders the book firmly in the arena of adult reading. Loisel does an excellent job of portraying the darkness and terror of the adult world from a prepubescent perspective, in imagery, language and inference - laying down the psychological tracks that lead to Peter’s perpetual childhood in Neverland. This is not a world for children.