LDN 2016_ Some Graphic Novels

i got into this gracious graphic novels world as i started off with Polina. it never struck me before even when i read some of the Alan Moore’s works, i know he is amazing but strangely enough, i was not very keen to continue reading those.

My little friend gave Polina as a small gift and it sit on me tea table for a while, and i just randomly picked it up when i got bored, and that was it. then i bought another graphic novel that i always wanted to buy but never took just because i thought it’s expensive.. and then i am buying another one, and i think this is brand-new interest for me now which i am quite content with (haha) at the age of 3n. maybe this could be some sort of compromising point where proper novel novel and kids comics meet.. i already had a record as a crazy collector of be@rbrick, what can you say now?

  1. Polina by Bastien Vives, 2011

i think this luckily happened to have an English translated vers. whereas rest of his works only have original language version which now really make me feel like learning French (i know i have been saying this for more than 2 years now). anyways, this is very beautifully drawn of all characters and their body movements(ballet), has quinessential Frenchness in it with very sophisticated description and detailed style of illustration yet quite coolness in plot itself. i would say the very French that you can easily find in many French films too. They do not make anything too complicated, but their misc-en-scene and character description are always refined and sophisticated.. which makes the quality after all. i absolutely loved that feature from this book, too. the story is very simple, some simple emotions are spread here and there but they never get too complicated. as soon as i opened the first page i totally loved the drawings and the wholeness of it makes you finish the whole book once started.

2. Blackhole by Charles Burns, 2005

so this book was strange. like i said i ve been meaning to buy this actually for more than 5 years to be honest. there was very haunting image from this book and whenever i saw it from the comics shop, i was totally infatuated by the drawings and i was genuinely stoned there and didn’t know what to do. i never opened the book before it arrived to me a few days ago. i only saw the cover for the last 5 years when i pass by, sometimes there was an exhibition of this book i remember, from one of those shops in covent garden.. and i briefly gave a look but i never dared to buy one because 1. i didn’t have the luxury of buying these kind of books while my life has been pretty tight 2. i was always hesitating somehow.

to be honest the charles burns style of illustration is something that i would never like unless very robust story .. let’s say just like parasyte (everyone should know this great manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki) or some of Ito Junji’s stories. the cartoonists who create some SF related story with thriller and all, do have things in common in their drawing style.. charles burns is one of them, and as much expectation as i had about this book, i bought it right after Polina and started off as soon as i got it.

so i would say the story is very very american. i know it does have things that all the teenagers go through during their particular stage in life and all, but for me who had completely different experience and the back ground, it was just another quirky SF story with some brilliant ideas into it. the very point i was very disappointed was when most of the story turned out to be plotted by David for the sake of possessing Chris, which all ends up quite cliche. my personal opinion would be if there is something deep (not about romance) between keith and chris after all. the death of rob was so sudden and almost lost the context i thought, and ending of one of the most important characters like that did not seem really .. persuasive. maybe i only understand the half of it because i know this has been highly praised by many reviewers who spent some similar 70s or 80s in the same country. and me born and grew up in the big central area in far east asia would not be able to empathise all the sentiment the author tried to convey there.

nevertheless, until the 2/3 of the book, it kept making me hold onto it because you just can’t wait to see the next story. and it does deliver really good insight of teenager’s fluidic (haha..) and unstable emotions. i would never say i didn’t like it, you can see every quality from there, details of the illustration are huge. and some storyline is brilliant as well.

..and this is my next move and i am very much looking forward to it (so to be continued obviously)

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