1554072700 New. No dust jacket as issued. Brand New! Support Independent Pacific Northwest Booksellers! Trade paperback (US). Sewn binding. 423 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. In his afterword to this jaw-dropping collection of early, little-known wordless graphic novels, cartoonist Seth asserts that rather than being seen only as a link between early comic strips and today's graphic novels, these stories stand powerfully on their own. proof is in the stark appearance produced by wood cuts and lino-engraving and the themes in these once-controversial works: social unrest, the plight of the downtrodden worker and the oppression of the weak by the strong. Masereel's Passion of a Man (1918) tells a modernist Christ story in 25 dark pictures, while Hyde's Southern Cross (1951) is a pastoral tragedy about Pacific islanders caught up in the U.S. Navy's A-bomb testing. Ward's Wild Pilgrimage (1932) is a passionate aria to the human spirit, threatened with crushing death by the specter of soulless factory work and cruel bosses. Patri's White Collar (1939) is the real standout; on the surface it's a simple story about a commercial artist fighting to keep his family going, but ending as a stunning validation of the dignity of man. Handsomely printed and bound and smartly edited, this book sets the standard for how to present anew the important but lesser-known classics of graphic fiction's past.
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""If you care about graphic novels, you need this book."" - New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman
Graphic Witness features rare wordless novels by four great 20th-century woodcut artists European and North American. The stories they tell reflect the political and social issues of their times as well as the broader issues that are still relevant today.
Frans Masereel (1899-1972) was born in Belgium and is considered the father of the wordless graphic novel. Graphic Witness includes the first reprint of his classic work, "The Passion of a Man," since its 1918 publication in Munich. American Lynd Ward (1905-85), author of the provocative "Wild Pilgrimage," is considered among the most important of wordless novelists. Giacomo Patri (1898-1978) was born in Italy and lived in the United States. His "White Collar" featured an introduction by Rockwell Kent and was used a promotional piece by the labor movement. "Southern Cross" by Canadian Laurence Hyde (1914-87) was controversial for its criticism of U.S. H-bomb testing in the South Pacific.
An introduction by George A. Walker places each wordless novel in its context and examines the influence of these works on contemporary culture, including film, comic books and contemporary graphic novels.
Graphic Witness will appeal to readers interested in social issues, printmaking, art history and contemporary culture.