Amazing new genre pushing boundaries

As a family we’ve recently been on a graphic novels kick.

It certainly makes for shared reading, because books can be savoured and re-read within a realistic time frame.  With text intense books, what often happens is one person gets to read the book from beginning to end and then it’s due back to the library.  Or by the time the second reader is well into the book the first reader has either forgotten vital details, or even worse, blurts out bits of plot and ruins the surprise.  “The butler did it — oops, sorry!”

Despite what you might think, graphic novels can deal with tough, adult subjects.  Art Spiegelman’s Maus springs to mind.  I had read the first version when it came out ages ago, but the most recent edition has more material, and more harrowing material.

We’ve also read Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem, Chronicles from the Holy City   and his Burma Chronicles, Pyongyang (North Korea) and Shenzhen

Young Sprout of course is not ready for adult narrative but has been reading the Little Prince series.  These have a steampunk esthetic and a sophisticated narrative technique. In each story the Little Prince and Fox, his companion, land on a different planet and have to figure out how to help the inhabitants deal with their problems — leading to discussions about motivations and character and why he might like some stories more than others.

Lauren Redniss has pushed this genre to a whole new level.  Radioactive, Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout  combines     the biography of Marie Curie with many sidebars about nuclear war, nuclear tests, nuclear energy, chemotherapy, x-rays.  The artwork is done with cyanotype  a     type of sun printing.  (<<<<  this link includes a slideshow of selected pages to get a tiny idea of the book).

Ah, what inspiration!

More to follow on the resulting output — but that’s a post for another day!

P.S.  No, it’s not lost on me that ironically, a post about graphic novels has no image.

P.P.S.  Most of the links are to Amazon.ca (Canadian website).  Readers in other countries should Google to see if Amazon has a site in their home country.

Advertisements

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Of course this is what some sites pick up every single day, but I’m not trying to document every single thing that happens in my life, just keep notes on my creative endeavours without letting the blogging take over at the expense of said creative endeavours.

Think my word for this year will be BALANCE

since it’s something I always pray for – balance between work/creative activities/service to family & community

And my resolution is NOT TO MAKE ANY RESOLUTIONS!  Because we know where they go ….

Click here to see the complete report.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner* can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Of course right now the stats helper monkeys would have to be towing the Dreamliner along the runway since they’ve been grounded!

 

Click here to see the complete report.

Virtuous Living 2012

virtues 2012006

Click here to view the Wordle
I made using the Virtues Project cards I randomly selected throughout 2012.  
The size of the writing reflects which cards I pulled most frequently.  
No surprises there I would say.  Or if you just click on the image you can
embiggen it.  (Hmmm, I wonder when embiggen will make it either into the
dictionary or the list of words to be banished such as "world-class" and 
"spoiler alert"?)














Lifelong learning is a theme which kept coming up over and over again 
through the year so I added it as an "extra" virtue although it's not 
in the original hundred virtues in the project.  
For this year I've also added Sisterhood, Self-Care, and 
Consolidation (in the sense of keeping one's affairs in order 
and generally being organized)

What's special about the Virtues Project is that it's part of a global
initiative "to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life by helping
people of all cultures to discover the transformative power of these
universal gifts of character."
As such the quotations are drawn from every faith tradition.
The virtues are all positive and the cards themselves stress the
importance of balance and common sense, i.e. truthfulness does not
mean being hurtfully blunt, generosity does not mean giving away
the grocery money.  
I've been continually amazed at how often the virtue I randomly
choose for the day is exactly on point!

Of course there are various other sets of cards out there, so I'm curious, 
do you use cards and if so which ones?  What have you learned?  do
share, please!

Wordle takes a bit of patience to get started but once you do it's
great fun!  I've used it in the past to create text on fabric
through Spoonflower.

Teaser Tuesday

From East of the Sun by Julia Gregson, 2008, Orion Books

“But now she was feeling all wobbly and chameleonish again, which was annoying, only this time it was Frank, and to nutshell the problem, she had the most hideous crush on him.  When he’d asked her, in the most casual way possible, if Rose and she had any plans for Port Said, she’d been sitting in the bar chatting to Jitu Singh.”

Go to MizB’s Should Be Reading blog for more teasers in every genre!

Things that get me in trouble

In a recent post about process I asked:

Am I just more of a verbal person than a visual one?

My career has dealt with the written word: translating, editing, writing, researching — things that were always encouraged, that came naturally without a lot of struggle.  Certainly no one ever urged me to go to art school, nor did I think of it for myself.

My birth family placed great store on social activism, awareness of issues and politics.  Although with a different perspective, so does Grandpa X, who was watching the news on TV when we first met.

My visual approach to life has made me look like a total airhead on a number of occasions.

When I was out with my father, I saw a line of clothes drying, stretched along a roof line between two chimneys.  To me this was a very impressive image in itself, my father just said “How difficult it must be to raise children in those circumstances.”

Grandpa X and I were watching CNN one day and an interview with a turbaned Iraqi cleric came on.  I immediately blurted out “I’ve already seen this the other day, I remember that wall!”  (The wall in question was worn stucco with amazing weathering on it.)

But now I’m resolved not to feel inadequate because of this tendency.  It’s just who I am, and really not to be taken as proof that I’m someone that doesn’t give a bleep.

Municipal Darwinism

Yes, it’s a town eat town world in the Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve

Just finished Mortal Engines and can’t wait to read Predator’s Gold and any others he may have written.

Although this is likely to be shelved in the Young Adult section of the library it’s a thought provoking book with plausible characters and some laugh out loud humour too.

Coincidentally Philip Reeve was born in my hometown of Brighton, apropos of absolutely nothing!  And Brighton does not figure in Mortal Engines, although I think the Royal Pavilion would make a perfect town-topper!  You just have to read the book to find out.