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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Babbos and dotters
"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes" is about the father/daughter relationships of two women - Mary Talbot, wife of Bryan Talbot (writer/artist extraordinaire of such books as Luther Arkwright, One Bad Rat, Nemesis the Warlock, Sandman, and the Grandville series), and Lucia Joyce, daughter of legendary novelist James Joyce (author of Ulysses, Portrait of the Artist as a Young...
Published on 8 Feb 2012 by Sam Quixote

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
This is ok - not brilliant, but ok.
Published 24 days ago by FredGumbo1


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Babbos and dotters, 8 Feb 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Hardcover)
"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes" is about the father/daughter relationships of two women - Mary Talbot, wife of Bryan Talbot (writer/artist extraordinaire of such books as Luther Arkwright, One Bad Rat, Nemesis the Warlock, Sandman, and the Grandville series), and Lucia Joyce, daughter of legendary novelist James Joyce (author of Ulysses, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Dubliners).

The book alternates between the two women at similar points in their lives from childhood to adolescence to adulthood and shows parallels between them and their fathers. Mary's father was an eminent James Joyce scholar whose work "The Books at the Wake" remains the best book written analysing Joyce's incredibly difficult novel "Finnegan's Wake", and in turn an equally difficult man to get along with. Mary details her clashes with her dad who was mentally abusive to her while growing up, often belittling her achievements and dreams.

Lucia's father wasn't abusive - Joyce was too wrapped up in his own writings to be that way - and he was generally quite involved in raising his daughter, but when she became a young woman wanting to become a professional dancer and start an independent career, Joyce and his shrill wife forbade it to the point where she became so frustrated she threw a chair at her mother. Incredibly this incident led to her becoming institutionalised, a forced way of life that she would never escape until her death.

Mary Talbot's writing is superb and she brings to life her story with warmth and candour, perfectly matching her husband's artwork in tone and mood. The book is enthralling to read and, for Mary, ultimately a happy ending. For Lucia, it's hard to imagine a thwarted dance career and an overbearing mother could lead to a decades long imprisonment, but perhaps it really was all that - maybe there is more to her story than presented here.

I loved Bryan Talbot's work in this book. It's not nearly as polished or dramatic as his work in books like Grandville, and the book is coloured infrequently, mostly in sepia tones throughout, but it's still wonderful to see. His depiction of Lucia's descent into madness is as high a quality fans have come to expect from this artist, while the drawing of he and Mary's wedding day is very beautiful in its simplicity and expression of pure happiness.

"Dotter of her Father's Eyes" is a fascinating comic book of human relationships and the importance of an unshackled human spirit, but moreover it's a great read. Who knew that Bryan Talbot's wife was also a talented writer? Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Daughter's re-Joycing, 20 Nov 2012
By 
Andre Gerard (Vancouver, B.C.) - See all my reviews
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What is it about graphic narratives and family memoirs?!! Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is a worthy addition to such great graphic matremoirs and patremoirs as Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Are You My Mother?, Ross Mackintosh's Seeds, Seth's Bannock, Beans and Black Tea, David Small's Stitches, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know. As Alison Bechdel does in her two books, Mary Talbot uses literature and a literary life as a template against which to measure part of her own. Where Bechdel used writers such as Fitzgerald, James, Joyce, Wilde and Woolf, Talbot limits herself to Joyce and his relationship with his daughter, Lucia. The title of her book is a fitting, playful reference to both Joyce and her own father. And what better illustrator for a Joyce themed narrative than Mary's husband, Bryan Talbot, creator of the amazing Alice in Sunderland. After all, it's a small step from Lewis Carroll to James Joyce. Once again, Bryan's inventive, gritty artwork works wonders in animating social history. Husband and wife can be very proud of this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'My cold mad feary father', 5 Jan 2013
By 
Eleanor (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Hardcover)
Mary Talbot's father was a prominent James Joyce scholar who was beloved by his students for his warmth and enthusiasm. At home, however, his main modes were terrible anger and sarcasm. In this graphic memoir written by Mary Talbot and illustrated by her husband Bryan, Mary's life is interspersed with that of Lucia Joyce a talented dancer and illustrator (although this latter activity is not mentioned) who is shown as having her ambitions thwarted by her own controlling family.

"Dotter of her Father's Eyes" is a compelling and moving work, which also displays great warmth and humour. Bryan Talbot's illustrations are beautiful: shades of grey and black for Lucia's story and sepia enhanced with colour for Mary's. The husband and wife pairing works very well and some of my favourite parts of the memoir involved Mary's marginal comments on her husband's illustrations.

"Dotter of her Father's Eyes" came to my attention after it was shortlisted (and later won) the Costa biography award. It is a worthy winner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever, moving and well done, 22 April 2012
By 
D. Corser "davidwm" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my middle daughter who's a very big Joyce fan. She really enjoyed it and so I've read it - in one go, just like my daughter. The author's Father is best known for his book on Finnigan's Wake and this book sets her childhood (not easy) against Lucia Joyce's - even less easy. The style of writing and the illustrations compliment each other and the twin stories. Unlike the author's, Lucia's life was very sad and this book is pretty moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the Artist's Wife, 11 Jan 2014
By 
Sandman "Sandman" (Brighton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Hardcover)
I have consistently enjoyed Bryan Talbot's work from Luther Arkwright and his Underground stuff to the Grandville books. His artwork was always outstanding and has developed over the decades while remaining instantly recognisable as his. He has added quality artwork to the likes of Sandman and 2000AD.

His writing is at least as accomplished as his art. "The Tale of One Bad Rat" is one of the very few comics that has actually made me cry, and deserved every plaudit and award it picked up. He also demonstrated a scholarly side in "Alice in Sunderland".

"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes" is something different though as it is a collaboration with his wife Mary, a published author and scholar in her own right. Bryan's art is right up to standard, and Mary's script is a worthy match. The book is a labour of love that describes Mary's upbringing in austere post-war Britain, while drawing parallels with that of Lucia, daughter of James Joyce during the 1920s, mostly in Paris. There is also a framing narrative concerning the present-day Mary and Bryan. Each of these narratives is depicted in its own distinct graphic style.

Both the main story-lines are interesting in their own right, describing troubled relationships between father and daughter, with very different outcomes. Mary's is eventually much happier, covering her courtship with a funny, naive young Bryan, the birth of their children, and featuring friends including one Chester (who may be connected to the protagonist of the same name in Bryan's early Underground comix!).

Lucia's life unfortunately is much more tragic: a talent and passion for dance thwarted by the demands of her unsympathetic parents, resulting in breakdowns and institutionalisation. Neither James Joyce (genius but not much of a parent) nor Mary's stern father, a frustrated intellectual and Joycean scholar -- hence the connection between the narratives -- come out of this very sympathetically.

Both stories are set against fascinating historical backgrounds, skilfully realised in both the writing and illustration: the intellectual smart set in 1920s Paris and the austerity of post-War northern Britain.

I would recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Bryan Talbot's many excellent comics: this is up with the best, and won the Costa Biography award in 2012. Beyond that though, it also may be one of those Holy Grails: the comic you can introduce to intelligent non-readers that will convince them that reading these things is genuinely a worthwhile pursuit, and not "kids' stuff" to be hidden from one's intellectual acquaintances.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a little too hard on Samuel Beckett, 6 Jan 2014
By 
P. J. Dunn "Peter Dunn" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Hardcover)
OK I like Joyce, and yes I also have always liked Bryan Talbot's artwork in Luther Arkwright and a range of 2000AD strips, so therefore something that combines the two of these likings I am almost bound to enjoy, and I did. In truth you probably just need one of those two elements (a fondness for Joyce, or an attraction to Talbot's artwork) to really enjoy this book, and Mary Talbot's life story is interesting enough in itself. My only minor quibbles are that is a little too short (which simply means I enjoyed it and wanted to enjoy more of the same) and it was perhaps a little too hard on Samuel Beckett.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Duaghter's Tribute to her Father, 5 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Hardcover)
This is a lovely book full of childish insights into the world of adults. lovingly put together and excellent value for money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an autobiographical novel very special, 21 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Hardcover)
"Dotter" is a graphic novel delicate, demanding and very evocative, with two levels of reading.
Writing Mary Talbot is articulated and drawings (by Bryan Talbot one of the pioneer of the graphic novel,) are phenomenal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 10 May 2013
By 
C. Cox (England) - See all my reviews
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I can't wait for their next one. Great text and illistrations. I really recommend it. What more can I say (why do you want such long reviews???)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, 4 April 2013
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This review is from: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Hardcover)
Read this book in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is moving and subtle and has interesting shifts in time. The drawings are clear and warm. Highly recommended - as a story about Joyce and his children and as a parallel story about the author. Lovely piece of work.
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Dotter of Her Father's Eyes
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes by Bryan Talbot (Hardcover - 2 Feb 2012)
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