14 diciembre 2018

Comic review: Yallah Bye

"The hard dose of reality made it difficult for me to swallow."
Leer en español
Read in Spanish

There's a reason why I don't usually read real life stories, but sometimes it is real life itself that appears and demands to be read. Yallah Bye, by Joseph Safieddine, with art from Kyungeun Park, was one of those cases. You rarely feel what the characters in a comic like this.
The story is simple: A family of French citizens of Lebanese origin goes on vacation to their origin country, but ends up imprisoned in Lebanon because of the war. Gabriel El Chawadi, the only one who didn't go to the trip, starts a race against the clock to convince the French government to save its own citizens, while his family tries to survive to the war and themselves, if a bomb doesn't kill them first.
The hard dose of reality made it hard for me to swallow. It's hard to read something that you know is real, that is happening, and that will very likely continue to happen in the future. Yallah Bye shows a contemporary situation without dyes or censorship, and its writer, Joseph Safieddine, handled the details with great delicacy, without falling into sensationalism of any kind.
"I didn't dare to streading until the end."
The characters are human in every aspect, with their positive and negative sides, their successes and mistakes, and it's much more surprising that the dialogues contain words directly in Arabic, a detail that's not often seen and that I appreciate.
Kyungeun Park, on the other hand, didn't convince me with his art, honestly, because I expected it to be more stylized, elegant, and not so abrupt. I understand the connection between raw art and sugar-free history, but I don't deny that it was difficult for me to continue because of the style. The colors and inks look pretty good in most cases, anyway.
Yallah Bye is an entertaining and educational comic book, simple as it is captivating, showing reality as it is. It will be a perfect choice for lovers of war stories, social issues and suspense, because I didn't dare to stop reading until the end.

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