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Blue SC [Paperback]

Pat Grant
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.25
Price: 10.28 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Oct 2012
Blue is the debut graphic novel of Australian cartoonist Pat Grant. Part autobiography, part science fiction, Blue is the story of three spotty teenagers who skip school to go surfing, only to end up investigating rumors of a dead body in their beach town.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (2 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603092730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603092739
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.8 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,091,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great work 25 Mar 2013
By Nikolas
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i love this book its the best!
if you have any doubts dont hesitate to buy it :] its worth it
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2.0 out of 5 stars Weak 13 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover
I thought this looked pretty interesting, however fell rather short due to a weak narrative and characterisation. It's mentioned in reviews that the book looks at topics such as racism, yet it barley scratches the surface and leaves you thinking well what was the point of this? I wanted to like it, but you cannot create a good GN with a story that goes nowhere, I think if Mr.Grant focused more on plot and character perspective then this would have been a good read and an invaluable insight into small town Austarlian life, as seemed the aim of the author. Maybe his work will mature with experience, but for now I'll stick with indy's such as Jason.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, unsung masterpiece 7 May 2012
By Stephen R. Bissette - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Pat Grant's BLUE (2012, Top Shelf/Giramondo) is a gem, just a terrific read with eye-candy galore. Grant's work is entirely new to me. Incredibly dense, both in its imagery and its thoughtful characterizations & dissection of casual racism (on the beaches of Australia), though it always flows with effortless grace. Highly recommended, and a book I'm revisiting often this month. The concluding essay by Grant, on autobiography, comics, and specifically surf comics (from Rick Griffin to Mark Sutherland) is a major bonus, and also well worth a close read. Kudos & don't miss this one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great Australian graphic novels 3 April 2012
By AndreiB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As of 2012 there are two 'Great Australian Graphic Novels'. The first is Shaun Tan's 'The Arrival', the heartwarming story of a migrant's journey and acceptance in a new land. The second is Pat Grant's 'Blue', a critical and thought provoking exploration into Australia's acceptance and resentment at migrant culture, territorialism and casual racism through the eyes of three adolescents in a partly fictional town named Bolton.

'Blue' is an incredibly meticulously designed, painstakingly illustrated and utterly human debut work for Grant.
Melbourne's The Age review described the work as 'authentic', taking 'full advantage of the comic's medium' and was 'masterfully composed'.
The Australian newspaper's literature section praised Grant's 'beautiful full-page illustrations are worth scouring over so as not to miss the small details' and summarised the work as 'a major achievement' that 'deserves something stronger than conventional praise, and readers as attentive as those for the most involving, demanding novels.'
The Comics Alliance called it both 'beautifully drawn' and 'uncommonly sophisticated.'

The book is part sci-fi. It's part auto-bio. It's part coming-of-age story. It creates a whole new visual language just for Australia and is not comparable to anything else out there right now.
In summary, this graphic novel is Important with a capital I, and a first press copy deserves to be on any serious graphic novel collector's bookcase.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An experience 30 July 2012
By Andy Shuping - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
One of the things that I've really enjoyed discovering in the last few years is graphic novels and comics from other countries. While I always knew they existed, it seems like they were often difficult to get ahold of or you had to read them in their native languages, which is not my strong suit. Thankfully in the last few years the internet (and certain publishers) have broadened the reach of artists and storytellers from other countries to allow us to see the variety and different types of works being created around the world. And Australian Pat Grant may just be my new favorite. I had a chance to meet him and a caravan of other Australian artists at TCAF last month and I was blown away by the different types of visual imagery and storytelling than what I'm familiar with. And Pat's work Blue was one of my favorites. The story is a unique blend of autobiographical, fiction, and sci-fi all whirled into one. Set in the summer of a few years or so ago, in a seaside Australian town struggling to deal with an invasion of alien refugees.

The story is a densely packed and thought provoking exploration into Australia's resentment at migrant culture and casual racism through the eyes of three misbegotten youth. Pat bases the work upon aspects of his own history and life, sharing with readers what life is like growing up in a different culture and how similar it is to our own, even with a vastly different language. And the exploration of racism is unique, not because Pat explores it, but because of how he goes about it. By presenting the other cultures as alien life forms (literally they have tentacles) it forces the reader to look at the issue in a different way than if it was just another human. The treatment, the things that the character say and do, their reaction to death of one of these aliens causes the reader to look deep within themselves at how they act in their own world. It's thought provoking and powerful.
I love Pat's visual style. It reminds me of cartoons from the 30's and 40's with the wavy arms and the way the characters move on the page, almost like they are rubber just bouncing up and down. And yet it is also deeply set within the visual imagery of Australia, especially the way the aliens draw and leave symbols upon the walls and pages of the book. It reminds me of some of the types of lines that I've seen in Aboriginal art, not that this is what Pat is making reference to, but it pulls me in to the story more because of it and what little I know of Australian history.

I think my favorite aspect of this book though is the essay at the back. Grant talks extensively not only about his inspiration for the book (and art in general), but something about the history of graphic and comic art in Australia. He tells us how Australia has so little in the way of history of comic art and how this lack of history creates a positive and negative impact, not only in how own work but the work of others. It's engaging and informative read and a great bonus to the book. In fact I wouldn't mind reading more essays by Pat as he has some great insights that I think could be interesting.

This is probably one of the most difficult reviews I've written. Not because I didn't enjoy the book, but because even a month later I'm still pondering everything that I read. Which is the greatest reason I can recommend it. Its a thought provoking book and I really enjoyed it. So if you're looking for something a bit different or just want to expand your tastes to something from outside the US pick up this book and give it a read. You won't be disappointed. 5 out of 5 stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid 29 Jun 2013
By Ry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a fantastic debut by the Australian artist and author Pat Grant. The story is about three young and impressionable children who ditch school to surf. However, the waves prove to be too choppy and the truants slowly make their way to the site of a fatal accident. Although the children pretend to be interested in seeing the remains of the dead body (which was struck by a train), none of them are too eager about seeing the grizzly scene.
The victim is a member of some blue alien race, ostensibly. Clearly the creature is a foreigner, an immigrant, whom the children and the rest of the "natives" of Bolton, Australia (all the main characters are white immigrants) see as invaders; detrimental to the survival of a town that is already crumbling. The journey to see the dead body is filled with xenophobia, instilled into the children by the town's adults. The children, meanwhile, only see the dead body as a testament to the aliens simply being another living creature, deserving of pity not a barbaric curiosity.
This is not to say that the author Pat Grant completely condones those afraid of the blue immigrants. Instead, he offers a balanced opinion. He demonstrates the immigrants' humanity, even the things that make humanity a character trait capable of both good and not good (shown by the narrator whose job - in the future - is to tirelessly like a modern-day Sisyphus clean off the Blue graffiti from the city's walls).
Grant also uses the image of a secret and possibly impossible surfing spot to show nature's pure state, without man and before the city of Bolton existed. Prior to the Blue immigrants, the white inhabitants were the immigrants, destroying the land with buildings, a form of architectural graffiti.

On another note, Grant's artwork is brilliant. His grayscale theme with the addition of blue enforce the separation, distinction, and importance of the immigrants. They stand out even more with the color, allowing the reader to get inside the mindset of the townsfolk. Yet, with the blue coloring of backgrounds (such as the sky and the ocean) and details (like the comic books or plants) the immigrants seem to become more and more a part of the fabric of the town. They are also symbolic of change, the natural progression of all things for good or bad. Simultaneously, the children are learning what it means to grow up (a coming of age story at its best) as well as exploring what it means to be a child, as their innocence comes ever closer to an end with every step toward the location of the graphic remains.

Pat Grant is a rare example of a fantastic artist and storyteller. He is able to expertly weave the worlds of picture and word together to tell, in the end, a rather simple story: Three children skip school to see a dead body (remind you of Stephen King? The author addresses this in the back of the book). Grant refuses to let a sentence or an image rest without some meaning. Everything exists for a purpose and I look forward to his follow-up.

Also, you can read this story in its entirety online at [...] (but you will miss his enlightening commentary at the end). However, if you care at all about furthering the arts, patronizing an up-and-coming artist, or just want to feel the physical ink on the physical page, I urge you to purchase a copy for yourself and others.
0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Aussie Looks at Race Relations 3 Jan 2013
By fredtownward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If this had been Yet Another American commentary on race relations, nothing could have induced me to read it. Not because I think the subject unimportant, mind you, but rather because I consider the subject overdone. Off hand I cannot remember a mainstream, well regarded American commentary on race relations that had anything intelligent or original to say since about the 1970's, but though Americans since may not have had anything new to say on the subject that hasn't prevented them from saying it,...

loudly....

However, an Aussie take intrigued. Historical similarities are there, along with great differences. At the end I can say I was not disappointed.

On the surface this autobiographically inspired tale of the day the funny looking Blue People first arrived in foreigner hating Bolton (said foreigners to be hated shown to include invaders from Sydney!) appears to be a pretty black and white condemnation, but author and illustrator Pat Grant is making a subtler point. After all if Christian's complaints that the Blue People had turned Bolton into a dump as they gradually took it over were true, he'd have a legitimate complaint. But the only people we see not caring and maliciously destroying things (not counting the relatively harmless graffiti) are the Bolton grown local kids, Christian's own peers.

Whatever it was that caused "locals around here to wonder whether Bolton was worth the effort" started long before the Blue People ever arrived.

They just got blamed for it, and as near as readers can tell, unfairly.

Note: Since the ebook I received from NetGalley was defective and never replaced, I was forced to read it online at the author's titular Bolton Blue web site after kindly being guided to it by Ry. Unfortunately, I thus missed out on the sixteen page essay that was added to the end of the printed book. Too bad, I'll bet it would have made for interesting reading.
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