Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Originals- Dave Gibbons

Dave Gibbons black and white graphic novel is a beautiful thing. He has brought all of his considerable talent as a storyteller to bear and it shows. The art is crisp and beautifully finished and Gibbons makes great use of the black and white format to create simple page layouts that are nontheless dynamic and often frenetic. The storytelling and pacing are, as always with Gibbons work, essentially flawless.

These reasons alone should be enough to get people to go out and buy the book. It was the main reason I picked it up, but I was very pleasently surprised by the quality of the the writing. Most people don't usually think of Dave Gibbons as a writer, though he has done his fair share. I was one of those. I'll admit that I approached the book with a bit of trepidation. I knew it would be beautifully drawn and I've always had a soft spot for the mod design sensibilty, but I wasn't expecting great writing. This is great writing.

Gibbons has gone far past the superficial visual sense of the mod movement and created characters who exemplify what the movement was really about. Again, like his page layouts, he keeps the form of the story simple and clear, but in the details everything is there. The need to belong, searching for an identity, losing yourself in that identity and the general stupidity teenagers. I was stupid at that age and these characters are no different. They think they are immortal and they live that way.

As much as I admire the work Dave Gibbons has done until now, I think this book might be the one that defines his career. I'm certain that it's a graphic novel that will talked about for years to come. Go out and buy it. Read it.


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