Wednesday 9 February 2011

Comics Not For Kids

Are you of the opinion that comics ..graphic novels.. call them what you will are nothing more than ephemeral entertainment for children and have no merit as Art or Literature? ... below I list just 5 of the titles which could very well change your minds ...


LOVE & ROCKETS: written and illustrated by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, is not a single book but an epic, spanning decades of the creators' work. It can be divided into 'Hoppers', Jaime's tales of a young group of friends growing up in a fictional Californian town and Gilbert's 'Palomar' series, which eminates from a Mexican hamlet somewhere below the US border, but weaves much further in location and time. The Hernandez brothers' characters are not a fixed point in time, they age and they develop and may not be what they first seem as they have depth and sometimes shocking histories which unfold via separate episodes of accomplished storytelling .
further info ~


FROM HELL: written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Eddie Campbell. 
Possibly better known as the movie starring Johnny Depp, the original graphic novel differs in the narrative and far transcends the film version in its imaginative telling of the Jack the Ripper murders that befell the poverty striken streets of fin de seicle London. Rendered in black and white, but radiant in its sweeping mysticism and ceremonial carnage, this tale extends far beyond the tip of the Ripper's knife and uponits voyage encompasses figures as diverse as William Blake, Aleister Crowley and J.C Merrick, the tragic Elephant Man.
further info ~


SKIN: written by Peter Milligan, illustrated by Brendan McCarthy & Carol Swain. 
The 1970's Skinhead subculture was a beacon for the disaffected, a breeding ground where chaotic violence and extreme politics could and frequently did manifest, and in this tale, amongst the angry and alienated we find the character Martin Atchitson, born with birth defects as a result of exposure to the Thalidomide drug whilst in the womb, an outcast amongst a mob of outcasts, whose teenage angst dramatically vents spleen.
for further info ~


MAUS: written & illustrated by Art Spiegelman.
An account of the Holocaust through the eyes of a Concentration Camp survivor and his descendants, based upon the real-life experiences of Spiegelman's own parents; Maus depicts the different nationalities embroiled in World War II by defining them as different anthropomorphic animals, yet rest assured that this is no cute feel-good Disney story, but is instead a poignant tale of humanity and inhumanity.


WHEN THE WIND BLOWS: written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs.
Jim and Hilda Bloggs are a pair of British pensioners mellowly getting on in their happy and humdrum world, but then one day they find their world .. everybody's world destroyed by the onslaught of nuclear war. In this charming and tragic tale, Raymond Briggs brilliantly reflects the anxiety of the 1980's Cold War and the fears that everybody's everyday existence, all that they had ever known and loved, could well have been destroyed by buttons pushed by distant men in suits.
for more info ~

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