Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen

Product Details
$29.99  $27.89
Fantagraphics Books
Publish Date
7.22 X 1.04 X 10.17 inches | 1.75 pounds
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About the Author
Dylan Horrocks lives in New Zealand with his wife and two sons. He is the author of the award-winning graphic novel Hicksville and the comic book series Pickle and Atlas, and has also written for DC Comics and Vertigo, including Hunter: the Age of Magic and Batgirl.
Dylan Horrocks is a master. The journey Sam Zabel takes through a magical comic book land is full of references and tropes we all recognize but it also features a moral component that is so thoughtfully laid down that the reader finds themself thinking about the implications for a long time after finishing.--Aimee LoSecco
...[A] thoughtful, layered graphic novel... The result is sublime: a breezy-reading rumination on the promise and the problems inherent in graphic novels' complicated history, and the power the creator holds in shaping the medium's future.--Aaron Ragan-Fore
Zabel embarks on a journey... [that] transcends the classic cautionary 'be careful what you wish for' tale, reflecting on gender politics in comics and how they intersect with fantasy.--Hillary Brown
More Calvino than Borges... The story moves vertiginously between fantasy worlds, as Horrocks stages confrontations between comics' pulpy and frequently sexist past, and the more female-friendly webcomics and manga of present-day practice. ...[T]he book's real achievement is in the way it manages to be both besotted and furious with cartooning's speckled history - plus be newly impassioned about the future of comics.--Sean Rogers
...[W]onderful, and there's nowhere near enough Dylan Horrocks work in the world.--Kurt Busiek (Astro City, The Autumnlands)
...[A] fast-paced and multi-level fantasy adventure with a progressive viewpoint and a good-natured wit. In Dylan Horrock's hands, literary criticism becomes exactly what it is advocating comics to be and that's a precious feat. ... [The characters] bring forth one of the most unexpected, truest tear-jerkers I have ever seen in a comic -- you'll get misty-eyed for them and for comics in the best possible sense.--John Seven
Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen is a coming-of-age story for the fantasies of our past and a joyful bear hug for the storytellers of our future. An effortless, magical read from front to back.--Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics, The Sculptor)
Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen is, like Hicksville, a meta-comic, a story about what it means to construct and share fictions made out of panels, captions, pictures and words; like Hicksville, it presents a secret history of what comics could or should have been. ... Sam Zabel is, mostly, a thoughtful delight, a celebration of Horrocks's chosen medium, with powerful supporting characters helpfully present to save the day...--Stephen Burt
Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen... is amazing and wonderful. As in Hicksville, the theme here involves fantasy, but with a more mature treatment, one reflective of today's comic reader. ... The images are astounding. ... Horrocks really understands the visual language of comics and how much can be done with it. ...I found Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen incredibly inspiring. ... Only someone who knows and loves the comic medium could criticize it this deeply and accurately.--Johanna Draper Carlson