The Idea and Story without Words
By Frans Masereel
10/10 from 1 review
You must read this
It's very difficult for me to try and explain just how extraordinarily good this wonderful piece of work is. i have a tendency to be very enthusiastic about the books I've put up here but if only because they have been ones that I find genuinely life changing or enhancing, thought provoking in a way that others have not been, and so on. For this reason I reserve the right to rave almost senselessly about Frans Masereel.
So. There are 2 books here. You finish one, then flip the book over and start the other. Masereel was years ahead of his time, utilising woodcuts to tell a story told in images only, and this is probably his best known work (certainly the one least out of print).
"The Idea" personifies the "lightbulb" like new concept of a young man as a naked woman, views her persecution, and eventual acceptance by the general populace, and "Story without Words" is a funny, poignant love story that must be almost universal.
What makes such a difference here is I think Masereel's very European sensibilities in storytelling. He uses wry, black humour, and many of the scenes are visual equivalents to a sense of Kafka-seque grotesque. But he also can't hide the exuberant joy in the telling of the stories. The bold cuts, the striking and dynamic style.
Frankly, anyone who cares even slightly about comics must read this book. Not only that but anyone... just anyone! I *adore* Masereel and would go nuts if I didn't do my bit to promote this graphic-art-storytelling genius. Not that this is much but Fish! Buy this bloody fantastic thing, then investigate more of his incredible work.
Oh yes - the UK version here - with the orange cover has some very groovy extras. Postcard sized prints and a poster. Very nice.