Written and Illustrated by Vitor Cafaggi
Published by Super Genius Comics/Papercutz
I spent more than three decades working in bookstores and every bookstore in which I worked always had a ‘Relationships’ section that was always packed with new books purporting to explain relationships better than the last round of bestselling relationship books.
Finally now, here in the 21st Century, and from Brazil yet, comes the single best, most accurate, and realistic book on relationships I have ever run across…and it just happens to star the cutest little furry animals you have ever seen!
As I understand it, Vincent is a mega-successful, long-running newspaper comic strip in South America. Vitor Caffagi’s protagonist, Vincent—Valente in Brazil— is a friendly but shy school age dog who is into RPGs, comic books, sleight of hand magic tricks, friends, and the opposite sex.
It’s a Disney-like world of anthropomorphic animals, for the most part all getting along.
But it’s also our world, with cell phones, clubbing, heartaches, and panic attacks. As with the real world, there really is no beginning or ending. We meet Vincent already going through his life. His BFF and confidante is a monkey girl named Bu. She’s part of his RPG unit. He and Bu are just friends but Vincent really wants an actual relationship. He longs for one, fantasizes one, and then one day on the bus he meets a lovely cat named Lady.
Once again as in real life, rather than a happy ending here, Vincent then meets a fun-loving panda girl named Princess.
Like Archie with Betty and Veronica, or Peter Parker with Gwen and Mary Jane, Vincent at first puffs out his chest, a true stud. He just hit the jackpot.
But then the real world intrudes and he knows he can’t be with both and he loves each one to the point where he can’t fairly make a choice. When he finally does, in a way, unexpected complications ensue and the reader is left with life continuing on.
Throughout the book, we also see his continuing relationships with his old friends and how they are affected by his new female companions. All of this is punctuated by the artist’s brilliant use of facial expressions, particularly Vincent’s!
Unlike the often cold, matter-of-fact books in the ‘Relationships’ section that often have to coin their own words in attempts to explain the depths of human emotions and feelings, Vincent does what comic strips do so well. It SHOWS the reader rather than TELLS. You actually SEE what various types of relationships are often like in the real world, even though done here with lots of smiles and furry warmth.
While the book is perfectly acceptable for kids, adults will immediately relate to Vincent’s world, his inner thoughts, his fantasies, and his hopeful existence. Adults have been there. Almost all of us. Sure, the details are changed, but Vincent: Book One: Guide to Love, Magic, and RPG, is really a disguised book about us, and it really is the most accurate book on relationships you will ever read.