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GRAPHIC NOVEL/McKean
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Genres
Graphic novels
Published
Northampton, Mass. : Kitchen Sink Press 1998.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Item Description
A graphic novel.
Physical Description
496 p. : chiefly ill
ISBN
0878166009
Main Author
Dave McKean (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

/*Starred Review*/ In one of the most ambitious and substantive graphic novels ever, McKean, best known for his covers for the acclaimed graphic novel series Sandman, presents a highly allegorical tale of the inhabitants of an apartment building. The characters, who include a blocked painter, a controversial novelist, and a preternaturally wise musician, struggle for artistic fulfillment and survival itself. Their conversations touch on God, jazz, and sex, but the work's overriding subject is creativity and the role of art. It is appropriate that such a weighty theme is tackled in one of the most genuinely "arty" works the comics medium has ever seen. A consummate draftsman, McKean's artistic skills are equal to the challenge. In addition to the simple but expressive black-and-gray ink drawing he uses for the bulk of the story, he employs painting, dreamlike manipulated photography, and, sparingly, full-color collages. Weighing in at 500 pages, Cages' length allows McKean to make his story unfold at a deliciously deliberate pace. This is a most impressive achievement that is not likely to be surpassed anytime soon--even, since Cages was eight years in the making, by McKean. ((Reviewed September 15, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

McKean is possibly the most widely known of the current artists creating comics for adults; he painted the covers of all 75 Sandman issues and has also drawn The Black Orchid and Violent Cases. Cages is the only work that McKean has both written and drawn, and he uses the opportunity to present a dialog on the rewards and hazards of creativity. Cages tells the story of three artists: Leo Sabarsky, a painter in need of inspiration; Angel, a nightclub musician who seems oblivious to the adulation of his fans; and Jonathan Rush, a writer whose novel Cages so enraged his readers that he now lives in captivity. How these characters break free of their mental cages forms the central conflict of this book, which evolves into a meditation on creativity and godhood. The artwork is dynamic and changes form as McKean feels appropriate. This is as much an art book as a narrative. If your library is only going to buy one graphic novel for adults this year, make it this one. For public and academic libraries. Stephen Weiner, Maynard P.L., MA Copyright 1998 Library Journal Reviews

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Presents a tale about the inhabitants of an apartment building, including a blocked painter, a controversial novelist, and a wise musician