The Song of Roland

by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum)

Michel Rabagliati’s latest graphic novel starts quite oddly, with a jumbled chapter full of rapid fire references and reminiscences of a family reunion on St. Jean Baptiste Day. Its nostalgic gleam is over-emphasized and oddly unsettling, which at first seems unrealistic and unfairly forced until we come to learn the truth of father-in-law Roland’s harsh upbringing and the news that he is dying. The Song of Roland is as much a celebration of Roland’s life as it is a portrait of a family coming to grips while trying to process the physical deterioration of a once stoic pillar. A loving and tender tribute, which doesn’t sugar-coat Roland’s flaws or the indignities and difficulties of caring for a loved ones who can no longer take care of themselves.

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