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The black and white illustrations in Elizabeth Belliveau’s The Great Hopeful Someday are very simple, using uneven lines and dotting to accomplish emotionally charged drawings about heartbreak and loneliness in Montreal. Belliveau’s stream of consciousness, snippety, secretive writing creates a quietly enthralling story about moving on, moving away and becoming “a mover and a shaker.” The main character (perhaps Belliveau herself) misses home, her ex-boyfriend and seems slightly depressed, only noticing the negatives in her life like a broken alarm clock, growing chin hair and the fact that her ex sold their wedding rings to buy tents so he could live in the great outdoors.

Incredibly charming, the book has its funny moments. In the story “Love”, Belliveau writes tips for boys on “how to get the girls” including:

Don’t talk about The Simpsons Wear pink, esp. socks or dress shirts Do not ever air guitar or air drum Do not tell her you are writing an autobiographical novel

There are more tips (great ones in fact) but you’ll have to read the book to discover them.

Belliveau’s drawings would translate well into wallpaper, I would certainly never get tired of waking up and looking at her drawings and penmanship everyday. In fact, her hand-written text, clumsy and peppered with spelling mistakes, is a comforting touch that adds warmth and sensuality to the pages.

Printed on somewhat cheap paper, I’d love to see what Belliveau’s work would look like in colour. There is also a bonus: The Great Hopeful Someday comes with a CD. The characters on the cd reminded me of an extremely simplified-version of a Blythe doll, not as pretty but just as cute. (Erin Kobayashi)

by Elizabeth Belliveau, $19.95, 176 pgs, Conundrum Press, P.O. Box 55003, CSP Fairmount, Montreal, Quebec, H2T 3E2,

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