3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.