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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 9 Feb 2013
By 
G Talboys - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hopeless, Maine Volume 1: Personal Demons (Hardcover)
It isn't often you pick up a book that combines excellent writing and excellent illustration within an excellent piece of production. Even before you open the covers, you know you have something of quality in your hands. The book is weighty (a solid cover and no skimping on the weight of paper inside). Front and rear covers are beautifully illustrated and the embossing adds that extra level that shows someone went the extra mile when it came to production.

And then you open the book. Sumptuous. The overall palate of colours is suggestive of the mood of the story and for me brought to mind a whole mix of references (Dark City where it is always night; Mythago Wood where the sun finds difficulty penetrating the depths of the forest; those dreams where one can never quite see clearly). This tone is enhanced by having the panels framed in black, like an endless succession of funeral notices. And the illustrations... I cannot praise enough. Here is an artist who draws with enormous skill and clarity and who knows exactly the right level of detail to include so that each picture is a work of art in its own right, each picture moves the story forward, each picture contains sufficient detail to make it interesting and worth exploring and revisiting without cluttering the page.

The story is wonderfully developed. Simple enough to follow and flow, yet filled with layers of meaning that build as the story progresses. Very often this aspect of graphic novels is overlooked, especially where the book is for younger readers. It is often assumed that this is the easy bit, it's just a few speeches. But that is why it is so difficult. Writers are rarely self-effacing enough to stand back and let the combination of text and illustration make the point. Here the two combine perfectly and this partnership has produced something truly wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly brilliant, 23 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Hopeless, Maine Volume 1: Personal Demons (Hardcover)
Hopeless Maine had me in a conundrum. Part of me wanted to find out what happened as quickly as possible, while another part wanted to take utmost care not to miss any of the fantastic artwork. The creatures, characters and setting were brilliantly envisioned. It was so good that i read it twice, back-to-back so I could soak it all up.
I've already pre-ordered part II on Amazon. I can't wait until October!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 16 Feb 2013
This review is from: Hopeless, Maine Volume 1: Personal Demons (Hardcover)
I'm new to reading graphic novels so I can't compare, but I can say that I loved this! The artwork is amazing, the story imaginative, the characters captivating. It's really refreshing to sit down and read an entire story in half an hour! I see more graphic novels in my future and definitely more Hopeless Maine...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange and Creepy, 21 Dec 2012
By 
J. Matthews - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hopeless, Maine Volume 1: Personal Demons (Hardcover)
I've been looking forward to reading this ever since it arrived a few weeks ago. Today I finally got to it - and it did not dissapoint. A strange brew, combining elements of Lovecraft and Ari Berk, of old fashioned horror and more recent ghost story. But its no slavish copy; its fresh and original and striking. I love the dark, miasmic art work with all the curious creatures hovering over every page but aparently not noticed by the protagonists. The story is interesting too, taking the concept of the invisible friend and making something new out of it. But beyond this is a bigger story, which makes me want to read the next instalment soon. A world that cries out to be explored, and an excellent read from a duo who are clearly going places.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful, 18 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Hopeless, Maine Volume 1: Personal Demons (Hardcover)
I can't recall ever starting to read with a nice cup of tea, rose scented candles on the table and soft Celtic melodies playing in the background. But there was something about this cover. A hint of magic as I touched it.

Hauntingly beautiful, a friend said earlier, which is all true, although you don't truly understand the meaning of these words until you let the book open you and whisper its dark, adorable little secrets inside. Don't let the enchanting drawings deceive you, there are wild powers at work here with unpredictable side-effects. Forces, that made me smile and cry at the same time as I was blown back in time into being a little girl again, someone, who I have forgotten a long time ago. It was a time where the most important things of my days were to be read by my great grandmother and let my fantasy open its wings and take me to lands I created and beyond.

As my life happened, I grew up too fast, leaving this little girl behind on one of these far-away, mysterious lands. And tonight I smiled and cried at the same time as I was taken back and found, that she was still there.
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Hopeless, Maine Volume 1: Personal Demons
Hopeless, Maine Volume 1: Personal Demons by Nimue Brown (Hardcover - 1 Mar 2013)
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