Saturday, March 20, 2010

Notes / Reading

I recently found a store that caters to my every need in graphic novel reading and while browsing -- one eye on the shelf, the other on Molly -- I found Baraka and Black Magic in Morocco by Rick Smith.

Because no reading list would be complete for me without its share of graphic novels, I bought it and spent much energy trying to get a chance to read it throughout the week.

But, frankly, I expected more than a mere illustration of a few weeks spent travelling.  I kept thinking: What is the point? The author, travelling with his wife and a few friends that they have collected in their travels, does not really say anything other than that he and, especially, his wife, had a bad time.  Perhaps the author thought that, because complaining about difficulty adjusting to cultural differences can be uncomfortable, his experiences were worth publishing.  I don't know.  I found the illustration confusing and, consequently, the narrative difficult to follow. I welcome any insight.  Maybe there is no point other than that the trip happened.

Then, the next day, I read Waltz with Bashir: A Lebanon War Story by Ari Folman and David Polonsky -- a graphic novel based on the film of the same title.  When a journey to the truth about oneself is, at least, as difficult as the events that necessitate the trip . . .  It is a potent and disturbingly beautiful narrative and it can be read in an hour or so.  I look forward to watching the movie.

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