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The Park Hardcover – 17 Oct 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: SelfMadeHero; 01 edition (17 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190683847X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906838478
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 893,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Oscar Zarate is a prize-winning author and illustrator of graphic novels. His work includes A Small Killing (with Alan Moore), Geoffrey the Tube Train and the Fat Comedian (with Alexei Sayle), and an adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus. He worked with Carlos Sampayo on Trois Artistes a Paris, Fly Blues and La Faille. He is also the editor of It's Dark In London (SelfMadeHero), an anthology of short stories featuring work by Alan Moore, Iain Sinclair, Neil Gaiman and others. Oscar Zarate left Buenos Aires and decided to visit London as a tourist. After forty years, he is still here.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
On a lovely sunny day in Hampstead Heath, Chris, a postman and part-time musician, is walking with his friend and former band-mate who's trying to convince him to put the band back together and work on their music. Meanwhile, Ivan is walking his dog Carla with his daughter Mel, throwing Carla's favourite ball for her to fetch - and then the ball reaches Chris who picks it up unwittingly as the dog lunges at him and takes a bite of his arm! Instinctively, he kicks the dog off just as Ivan catches up to the fuss, sees a stranger harming his pet and throws a punch at Chris. The fight is broken up and the calmness of the park returns - but the conflict is far from over. From this unfortunate incident follows the story of people, violence and modern life in Oscar Zarate's new graphic novel, The Park.

Zarate, best known for his work on Alan Moore's A Small Killing, brings his love of classic slapstick comedy like Laurel and Hardy to his contemporary tale of a modern Stan and Olly, Chris and Ivan. If the book seems to deal with almost one-dimensional characters and coincidence, it's because that's deliberate. The Park is a farce - comical at times - in the style of classic slapstick, which include broad characterisation and improbable situations. Chris is your archetypical liberal - thin, pacifist, musician, wears sandals, smokes weed - while Ivan is the archetypical conservative - large, loud, strongly opinionated, narrow minded, reactionary and family-centred.

As you might guess from the cover, the book deals with relationships - parent and sibling, mostly, and the way children try to distance themselves from their parents but inevitably behave like them in recognisable ways.
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Format: Hardcover
Centred around the life of the birds, trees and people whom frequent Hampstead Heath park in London, we are offered two sides of an altercation; on the one hand Chris, who is bitten by a dog and the other, by Ivan the owner of the dog (beloved Carla) who takes it upon himself to see justice. From this incident, Oscar Zarate builds up a story of revenge, involving children from both sides of confusion. Here we are presented with a build up of interesting characters and spun stories, all of which create a domino effect knocking anger into repression, eventually spiralling into climaxes of confrontations. The plot is neatly axed into parts of illustrated scenes of Lauren and hardy’s comical fighting, a clever little metaphor of the violence between the protagonists. The illustrations are water coloured with light-hearted style that document how modern London interacts with their environment. Nice read!

The Quote

‘The Park’. Blue skies, only a few wisps’ of cloud. If you close your eyes for a moment and listen jumbled sounds gradually become distinct. Kids playing football, a brass band bringing an echo of the past, fragments of conversations, the squeak of buggies, chirping birds, the swoosh of kites, the caw of crows, the rustling o leaves…just for a moment you feel intensely alive.’

The Author

Oscar Zarate is originally from Buenos Aries but has been living in London for the last forty years, where he continues to create award winning graphic novels and visual narratives.

The Book

Author / Artist: Oscar Zarate

Publisher: SelfMadeHero

ISBN: 978-1906838478

Full colour print

£10.87 (Amazon)
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Format: Hardcover
Laurel and Hardy: just a bit of old-fashioned fun, right? In <i>The Park</i>, Oscar Zarate contrasts the suppressed violence of slapstick with an aggressive dog incident to explore ideas of blame, rebellion and social responsibility.

When newspaper columnist Ivan’s dog bites mild-mannered Chris in the local park, neither man will accept blame. In his anger, Ivan pushes Chris, but Chris refuses to fight back and instead just walks away. Their individual resentments heat up over the following days, made worse by their problems of connecting with their grown-up children, who find their fathers either too aggressive or too weak. The children – a physiotherapist and a graffiti artist – later meet, though only one of them knows of the other’s role in the dog incident.

Zarate’s watercolour artwork perfectly illustrates the changing, moody beauty of the park, and emphasises the drama of the night scenes of sex and graffiti.

Dramatic artwork, an engrossing story, an interesting central issue worthy of debate: most graphic novels strive to provide one of these elements, but <i>The Park</i> excels at all three.

(Review from <a href="">The List</a>.)
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