Ex Libris

(Author)
Available

Product Details

Price
$29.95  $27.85
Publisher
Uncivilized Books
Publish Date
Pages
120
Dimensions
8.9 X 11.7 X 0.6 inches | 1.65 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781941250440
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

MATT MADDEN (NYC 1968) is a cartoonist, teacher, and translator. His best-known book is 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style, his comics adaptation of Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style. He and his wife Jessica Abel co-authored the textbooks Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Mastering Comics. He has translated numerous comics from French, most notably The Zabime Sisters by Aristophane and Piero by Edmond Baudoin. His most recent work is the graphic novel, Ex Libris. He has been living with his family in Philadelphia since 2016.

Reviews

Comics scholar Madden (Drawing Words and Writing Pictures) constructs a postmodern puzzle narrative that's equal parts playful and penetrating in this dexterous adventure. A nameless protagonist awakens with amnesia in a nondescript room and discovers a bookcase full of comic books that seem to comment obliquely on the situation. Drawn in the first-person point of view, the narrative moves the reader/protagonist from story to story as they gradually come to understand how they became trapped in the room and learn the visual language of comics so as to escape. The comics-within-comics premise provides Madden opportunity to recreate a dazzling array of genres and styles: romance comics, horror comics, gritty European realism, funny animal comics, autobio comics, manga. ("Maybe I should become a hardboiled detective for a while," the protagonist muses. "I've found myself in a scavenger hunt, leaping from book to book.") Cerebral self-referential humor abounds, with characters discussing their existence as cartoons and saying things like, "Am I doomed to live out my days in a para-narrative spatio-topical desert?" amid hat tips to Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges. Madden calls attention brilliantly to the medium's building blocks--elements like panel borders and sound effects--in a kind of comics theory course with the punch line of the protagonist declaring that "drawings have a greater power than words to get under your skin." This endlessly inventive work is a metafictional master class in comics. (Oct.)

Madden calls attention brilliantly to the medium's building blocks--elements like panel borders and sound effects--in a kind of comics theory course with the punch line of the protagonist declaring that "drawings have a greater power than words to get under your skin." This endlessly inventive work is a metafictional master class in comics.--Publishers Weekly; Starred Review

Madden displays a keen mastery of numerous visual and narrative styles. A formally inventive, deeply emotional tale, reminiscent of Italo Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveler...--Library Journal

This elegant showcase of graphic storytelling displays deep knowledge of the language of comics. The book's metafictional forays always serve the unnamed reader's tale, too; the subtle build of the mood and suspense around them results in a dazzling graphic novel.--Foreword Reviews; Starred Review

Praise for 99 Ways to Tell A Story:

A fascinating analysis of and a treatise, of sorts, on language in comics. --Steven Heller, designer and author

Balances postmodern irony with genuine invention and amusement. --The Guardian

There's a new discovery on every page, making this one of the most thrilling and surprising graphic novels around.--Comics Worth Reading

Astonishingly, for a book that is above all else repetitive, it never gets boring. Even the obvious is interesting, and Madden also comes up with a lot of great stuff, ways of seeing that might not have occurred to the reader. Fantastic and thought-provoking fun. Highly recommended.--The Complete Review