Monday, January 09, 2012

I got a Goodreads profile and while it's taking a while to calibrate my recommendations towards mostly books I want to read, I have already bought several Kindle books on the strength of its suggestions. Fun times. Come join my profile if you're into Goodreads.

I read between 50 and 100 books a year, not including graphic novels and comics and so forth, so I won't review them all - not a hope! - but I'll review a few, like the lovely, lovely graphic novel I read today,


Nelson is Rob Davis' and Woodrow Phoenix' ground-breaking collaborative project, inspired by attending a recent English Comic Book Convention and the range of talent they saw on display. Taking more than 50 English and British-based Cartoonists, Artists, Webcartoonists, Illustrators & Graphic Designers that result in the wide sampling of talent on display in this excellent graphic novel.

The book tells the story of Nel, a British girl (woman) through the styles of the 54 creatives involved. Each creator turns in between 1 and 5 pages, using them to chronicle an event or a moment in Nel's life. The neat twist, or added effect, in the book is that each event is in a seperate year of her life, following Nel from birth, through childhood, a roving, reckless very British adolescence and on to... well, no spoilers.

The snapshot, compilation-tape, family-album, anthology nature of this collection is so essential to its power and its British nature that it has to be mentioned. You see a few pages from each year, seeing just a little moment, and through incidental dialogue you get to experience the overall shape of her life passing by. It's a powerful way to tell the story, giving the reader a lot of credit, trusting you to be smart enough to follow along in its path.

There is so much to enjoy here. I mention family-albums as part of its style because the book is all about family and like any family there are highs and lows, laughs and tears. This is one of the sweetest graphic novels I have ever read and so much more cohesive in theme and tone than you would imagine from it's exquisite-corpse style story-telling. Buy it, its amazing. And some of the book's profits are going to charity, so you can feel good about a purchase you will get so much out of.

donalfall out.
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