If you're in the mood for a sparkling entertainment of a comic to read in the sun on a summer afternoon, you won't find another book as cheerful, or as beautifully told, as Petty Theft.The Stranger
A hilarious romantic comedy about kleptomania and booklovers
Pascal’s in a bad place. He’s got writer's block, he and his longtime girlfriend have just broken up, and when he goes out for a run to ease his frazzled nerves, he falls and injures his back so badly that he’s strictly forbidden from running. What’s an endorphin-loving cartoonist to do? In a bid to distract himself, Pascal throws himself into his other pleasure: reading. And while at the bookstore one day, he spies a young woman picking up his own book. But then she darts out of the shop without paying. Bemused, he decides to figure out why she did it.
Petty Theft is a comedy of errors, a laugh-out-loud account of a man on a mission, and a testament to the addictiveness of book-ownership. From the award-winning author of Reunion, Petty Theft is a deftly told, finely drawn contemporary romance that will keep book-lovers on the edge of their seat from the first page until the book’s denouement.
Petty Theft has been translated from the French by Helge Dascher. Dascher has been translating graphic novels from French and German to English for over twenty years. A contributor to Drawn & Quarterly since the early days, her translations include acclaimed titles such as the Aya series by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie, Hostage by Guy Delisle, and Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët. With a background in art history and history, she also translates books and exhibitions for museums in North America and Europe. She lives in Montreal.
Praise for Petty Theft
[Petty Theft ‘s] greatest virtue is that it’s full of great jokes, and jokes can’t really be described, only told. I’d highly recommend you let Girard tell you his jokes himself.Robot 6 / Comic Book Resources
Girard’s fluid and simple but immensely expressive cartooning enlivens Pascal’s increasingly ridiculous plans and sexual daydreams, and his cartoon self is a celebration of sheepish absurdity… Girard’s overanxious and wired protagonist will draw quirky comparisons to Seinfeld’s George Constanza and Woody Allen, and his breezy, evocative cartooning creates its own distinctive vision.Publishers Weekly
A master slapstick artist with a keen sense of comic timing and a knack for pinpointing the exact moment when human interaction takes a turn for the absurd, Girard is especially skilful at extracting humour from precisely rendered body language.Montreal Review of Books
Although small, [Petty Theft’s] panels have great emotion. They read quickly, in case you’re just interested in what uncomfortable situation Pascal will get into next (much like Seinfeld), but their detail rewards inspection. His uncertainty about what to do — in his life, with his career, about the book thief — will resonate with many.Comics Worth Reading
Awkward humour, physical stunts, romance, babies, that white dreadlocked guy in spinning class... it's all here.CBC Books Holiday Gift Guide
[Petty Theft] manages to convey both the lightness and loneliness of a recent breakup... Drawn with simple, expressive linework, the story’s trials and travails are full of humor, but the moments of Pascal alone in a room crowded with books and old possessions bring a sincere levity to the tale.Bitch
[In] Petty Theft, Pascal Girard offers up a dry, humorous, and neurotic look at his own dating life… The drawings are done in black and white… and their sketchy, stylized look fits well with the story. Much of the humor comes out in Pascal’s actions, which range from slapstick to irony, and while he and the woman of his dreams may not be made for each other, they make a good graphic novel team.AV Club