The Arrival

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“The Arrival” is a graphic novel written by Shaun Tan. What makes this book even more interesting is that it’s devoid of words. Which is a refreshing change really, it forces you to look at the illustrations and read more into the subtle strokes of the writer’s deft pen.

The book isn’t just stripped off of words, you will find that colors are absent too. Each page is sepia toned, which makes you feel like you’re leafing through an old book handed down over the generations. Some pages look like they’re weathered by age. Have a look:

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“The Arrival” is a story of an immigrant. The places are entirely fictitious, so are the languages. So much so that everything looks other-worldly.

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You can read more about the work and the sensibility of the book here. TakeĀ a gander at his home page, it’s a fun page to poke around and discover more of his books!

 

Recommended for: fans of graphic novels and beautiful illustrations

Rating: 8.8/ 10

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Through the Woods

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Through the Woods is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Emily Carroll. Is she related to Lewis Carroll? No, according to my extensive research (a “Is Emily Carroll related to Lewis Carroll?” Google search yielded no results)

Have a look at the awards/ nominations:

  • Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Best Graphic Novel (2014)
  • Milwaukee County Teen Book Award (2015)
  • Green Carnation Prize Nominee for Longlist (2014)
  • Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards for Best Graphic Album-Reprint (2015)

The eerie cover gives you an idea of what’s to come. A limited palette of black and white with a splotch of red reminiscent of what lies beneath our skins and what we’re afraid to expose. This book consists of five spooky short stories which come to life with Emily’s haunting artwork. If one were to simply narrate the stories, it would be quite a damp squib. Sample this marvelous art:

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One of my favourite stories was “My Friend Janna”, a story about two friends who would “speak to the dead”.

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What makes this collection of stories even more riveting is that they’re loose-ended. And I love stories like that, which leave room for imagination. I would suggest you to steer clear of it if you like your stories with a definite ending.

Before you buy it, have a look at her website and you’ll get a fair idea if you’ll like it or not.

And here’s one of the stories featured in her book.

 

Recommended for: Lovers of short stories, horror and beautiful art

Rating: 6.8/ 10