Thursday, August 6, 2009

Off the Shelf

Coming off the success of The Essex County Trilogy, Jeff Lemire's newest book is a revisionist take on "The Invisible Man."

While not as touching as the ECT, "The Nobody" still explores the depths of the human condition. The Nobody, Griffen, arrives in a small town wrapped in bandages and hiding a secret. Told entirely in flashbacks, and flashbacks within flashbacks, the Griffen's sordid past unravels just as his bandages do. Lemire delivers a piece of the puzzle at a deliberate pace and builds the story to a crescendo that's almost anti-climatic. "The Nobody" is a great story for anyone who is a fan of mysteries, classic science fiction, or interested in seeing Lemire continue to develop as an artist and storyteller.

"The Nobody" was released by Vertigo on July 8.

Though it's been available for nearly a year, I recently read Emmanuel Guibert's graphic novelization of Alan Cope's experience during World War II. What begins as a historic travelogue of one soldiers experiences throughout Europe becomes an engrossing tale of self-discovery and actualization of an authentic essence all well depicted through Guibert's beautiful artistic style.

Though I haven't been involved in any sort of war (aside from a spiritual war, of course), I was fascinated by Cope's experience. He was never afraid to try something new, sneak out after curfew, or mingle with people he shouldn't. Through his own curiosity Cope found himself traveling across Europe and meeting musicians, poets, and other intellectuals.

"Alan's War" was released by First Second Books and is available now.

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