Friday, June 11, 2010

BOOKS: several graphic novel reviews

Blankets by Craig Thompson, 377 pages

graphic novel challenge

First love and coming of age in a midwestern high school, set in a strongly religious home. Church camp has the same bullies and outcasts you'd find at any camp. Thompson's autobiographical memoir was a good read, but not one that I identified with, but I imagine there is a demographic that would love this one. I have a younger male cousin who lists this as one of his favorite books. It is impressive what can be conveyed in this format; the feelings and experiences are presented in such a novel way.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan,

graphic novel challenge; Australian author challenge

No words on the pages at all, but stunningly beautiful drawings to chronicle the experience of an immigrant to a strange land. I kept thinking the surreal world would begin to resemble something familiar, but it stayed strange. The world is meant to symbolize the unknown of all immigrants. I'm in too much of a hurry and I have always read too fast to appreciate a book like this that needs to be savoured and studied.

Pyongyang by Guy Delisle, 176 pages

graphic novel challenge; North Korea

Guy Delisle is sent to North Korea and this book is his account of his time spent in the very isolated country. I liked parts, but then the story would jump suddenly as if pages were missing, although they weren't. I found the book interesting by parts, and confusing by parts. I'm not planning any trips to North Korea any time soon, that's for sure.

(I read this quite a few months ago so this was my lasting impression)