Cedric – take one dash of funny, add a sprinkling of reality, arguments and nostalgic sentiment….
By Cauvin and Laudec
“Molly (age 10) enjoyed it a lot; read straight through and kept pointing out some of the really silly stuff to me”
“…It’s funny, smart and sweet in equal measure.”
“I got a little bored at times with the sameness of the stories ….. but I’d take Molly’s reaction to it as a better judgement on the book – she is, after all, the target audience for this one.”
So it shouldn’t be any surprise to find that Volume 3 is every bit as enjoyable. Certainly the basic events in Cedric’s life don’t really change that much; home life with Mom and Dad, the pressures of Dad’s job, the falling outs of modern family life, Grandpa’s still around to annoy, to confide in, and of course, Cedric’s still incapable of telling the beautiful Chen how he feels about her.
But if the events of Cedric’s life are relatively unchanging, I think there’s a real change, a smart development in the way Cauvin’s writing them.
The book starts with Mom and Dad and an argument and there’s quite a bit of arguing in Cedric all told, with Mom, Dad and Grandpa almost constantly bickering. And these arguments add a tension and a sharpness to what seemed previously a cutesy gag strip. Here’s a section from that first page:
Cauvin seems to be relishing making his stories ring true and he writes his family with a level of realism beyond what you may normally expect for something that looks so simple. The sharp contrast between Laudec’s expressive cartooning and the realism of an everyday family makes for an lovely quick read. Again and again we’re reminded by Cauvin, through some very funny scenes, that a great deal of love doesn’t preclude a lot of raised voices and arguing.
And then there’s the sentimental side of Cedric, with the opening and closing strips both concentrating on Grandpa and his much loved, much missed wife. Again, Cauvin expertly wrings every last drop of emotion and sentiment from the page. This is the page after that arguing page above:
And it’s this combination of great humour, sweetly observed sentiment and the very real family life happening all around Cedric that makes up a mix that elevates this volume way beyond what had been a previously enjoyable but samey comedy strip.