The graphic novel format works brilliantly to portray the artist’s state of mind as he works for hours each day on paintings only later recognised to be masterpieces.
It is worth noting that the simple style of the drawings could mislead one to assume it’s suitable for children-but I would hesitate to share this book with a child. There are frequent references to sex and prostitution; but more than that the very visceral sadness and distress of Van Gogh is so strongly portrayed that it can be a challenging read. Don’t let that put you off as an adult though.
Overall a brilliantly touching and original look at a subject so many have already covered. Strongly recommended.
With a title like this, you just know this book is going to be interesting!
All is calm, ordered and dull on the island of Here – surrounded by sea, and far far away from the unknown territory of There. Dave is just like everyone else in Here, who works hard (although doesn’t quite understand why he does what he does) and spends his free time drawing the people he sees in the street outside his house, while listening to Eternal Flame by the Bangles.
Then one day the one single hair on Dave’s face decides to grow, and soon the beard becomes a threat to the inhabitants of Here
Comic and thoughtful – this graphic novel is the first from British illustrator Collins.
I hope there’ll be more. Enjoy!
Complete with a flawed detective (with a past, of course) for a hero, a beautiful bad-girl love interest and a thoroughly chilling villain, the book also crams in huge numbers of cameos and visual in-jokes (possibly my favourite was an otherwise un-commented-on dissolute-looking Paddington swigging from a bottle in a brown paper bag).
If you’ve never read a graphic novel before, it’s well worth picking up this one, you’re sure to be quickly hooked.
Filled throughout with in-jokes and popular culture references (look for the Churchill dog!), it still retains a sense of history.
If you’ve not tried a graphic novel before, this is a great place to start. And even better, this stand-alone title is the second in a series, so if you love it, there’s more to read.