C'est beau, c'est magnifique, c'est Everywhere Antennas by Julie Delporte! We are obviously biased about being immensely excited for Julie's first Drawn & Quarterly title, what with Julie being a staff member and all, but you can trust us: Everywhere Antennas is worth all the praise it's getting.
Everywhere Antennas is Julie’s second book, her first being the autobiographical Journal, published by Koyama. It’s a dreamy and thoughtful tale of a woman struggling to balance the demands of technology and human interaction. The anonymous narrator suffers from a severe sensitivity to antennas and electromagnetic fields, and goes on both an emotional and physical exploration to attempt to curb the affliction that’s affecting her life. It’s a beautiful and introspective story.
One of the elements of Everywhere Antennas that makes it so relatable is the narrator's descriptions of her anxiety. Even though the book deals with a very specific condition (radiosensitivity), I found myself relating her characterizations of symptoms to many of my friends' experiences, as well as my own.
The daydream of wanting to escape and find solace away from the stresses of urban life is something I feel so many people can sympathize with, which is what makes the segments of Julie's book where she lives in wilderness or on farms so gorgeous. She describes the quiet beauty of it in a way that makes you want to follow suit, but also makes it clear that escape is not a permanent solution, and that it's never as simple as that.
Delporte's style is bold and bright, her crayons and handwritten style creating a diary feel that makes you feel like you're savvy to the narrator's innermost worries, fears, and moments of hesitant happiness. Make sure to keep track of the colours in order of appearance. It'll pay off.
Everywhere Antennas is a beautiful and introspective story, and you owe it to yourself to read it. Have a melancholic stroll in the park, then pop into the store to tell Julie how much you loved it. That's what I am going to do!