Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Take On The Savage

Mysterious and utterly mesmerizing, this graphic-novel-within-a-novel pairs the extraordinary prose of David Almond with the visual genius of Dave McKean.
Blue Baker is writing a story — not all that stuff about wizards and fairies and happily ever after — a real story, about blood and guts and adventures, because that's what life's really like. At least it is for Blue, since his dad died and Hopper, the town bully, started knocking him and the other kids around. But Blue's story has a life of its own — weird and wild and magic and dark — and when the savage pays a nighttime visit to Hopper, Blue starts to wonder where he ends and his creation begins.

 This book was amazing. The artwork, which was so raw and hard edged, was worth taking a second look at. I spent a few days after reading this book just flipping through and enjoying the pictures. At first, they made me feel like anyone could do it if they just found the right state of mind, but after further study I realized just how skilled the illustrator was in his execution. There were a variety of techniques and mediums, and among the seemingly quick sketches and splashes of emotion, there were glimpses of superb anatomical awareness1. My favorite panel was of the Savage raising his axe over his head. I wish I'd taken a picture of it to show y'all, but I didn't, so you'll just have to check this book out for yourselves!
 The story itself wasn't as gripping to me as the artwork was, but it was really good. It was told first person from Blue's perspective and the edict was very believable. The grammar and spelling in the "hand-written" bits that told the story of The Savage was atrocious, but legible. It really added to the overall feeling of angst. I also thought Blue's misused cursing was a nice touch2.
 This was a great, albeit short, read. I give The Savage...
...Four and a half Zombies.
I hope to find more YA picture books in the future, and I'll be using The Savage as the bench mark.
Happy reading!
1  Okay, now that I've over analized the artwork...
2  He favored the "D" word. Remember Shia LaBouf's character in I, Robot? It was like that.



Great review...jeez that cover scares every time lol...the artwork does look cool!

Jake Kirk@Teens Read and Write said...

I love graphic novels and this one looks awesome. Fantastic artwork. Thanks for the review! I'm headed to the library for this!

vvb32 reads said...

the artwork samplings are enough to get me interested in this one. i'll have to pick it up.

BTW: you've just been awarded

Orchid said...

Congratulations, you have been awarded the Me-To-You award. :)
You can pick it up here


I looooooove Lady Gaga too! The performance was so different, when the blood came out, I'm like wtf? haha, but then I was like hm dark, I like it! She's crazy and I love it, but is it true she's a hermaphrodite? Oh well, love her and Paparazzi is a great song!

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