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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, March 28, 2006
    Style and substance
    They've redesigned the New Welsh Review so it's nicer to handle and easier on the eye. But I bought the current issue (a) for an article on the meaning of maps, especially in Wales, but mainly (b) for another article, by Paul Gravett, celebrating the Graphic Novel: 'Literature's Mutant Sister'.

    Gravett 'considers the rise of the graphic novel from despised comic book to literary prize nominee.' This comes at a time when I've been reawakened to the work of Alan Moore thanks to his protests over Hollywood's demolition of his V story. And Gravett's article encouraged me to get online to order the work of Welsh graphic novellist Chris Reynolds (any work inspired by the blasted slate landscapes of Blaenau Ffestiniog has to be worth a look).

    But today I sandwiched a trip to Somewhere Else between two visits to the Forbidden Planet shop next door, and I came away with the award-winning Jimmy Corrigan. A book about a man approaching mid-life crisis, having to face uncomfortable truths about himself, alone, and his fractured family. A book which unsettles me, nudging awake some of my own ghosts. A book of both style and substance.