February 15, 2010

The Adventures of Blanche by Rick Geary: Review

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The Adventures of Blanche by Rick Geary is a trio of previously published stories in one graphic novel.

In the first, Blanche, a pianist from the west, heads to New York City to train with a prominent professor. She witnesses the building of the subway as she arrives and later finds there is more to the New York underground than just tunnels.

Blanche moves on to Hollywood and the movie business where she gets involved in the union movement and sabotage in the air.

Finally, Blanche sets sail for Paris and befriends an electrical engineer. He's working on a way to harness the power of the earth. However, his work attracts the wrong people and he ends up dead.

Rick Geary based The Adventures of Blanche on his grandmother who did play piano and did travel to New York. When I first started reading, I thought, "How sweet" but as I read further I got a feeling that this wasn't totally based on fact. Unless there are huge monsters living in the New York subway.

It turns out Geary used his grandmother's life as a jumping off point to tell fantastic, imaginative stories. Geary illustrates his grandmother's "letters" home to her parents during her travels. I loved Blanche's voice. A strong independent woman at the turn of the century. She keeps a level head in the face of all these odd goings on.

Now here's the hard part for me because "I don't know nothing about graphic novels", discussing the illustrations without sounding like an uneducated boob. I loved the old fashioned style, the way he drew the period backgrounds and Blanche's clothing. They're all so cheerful and a joy to look at.

If you are looking for great storytelling and charming illustrations, then I highly recommend The Adventures of Blanche.

6 comments :

  1. That looks really cute and I like the inclusion of monsters. Can't wait to see what they look like.

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  2. I normally don't flip over graphic novels, but the cover art of this one grabs me right away! Great recommendation.

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  3. Sounds good to me since it's set in Paris, New York and Hollywood!

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  4. For some reason when I first started reviewing graphic novels, I too, felt weird and uneducated about discussing the art. Now I don't bat an eyelash. Just describing how I feel about it and what I see, even if I don't use proper terminology, suffices. I mean, they're not just drawing these for the artists in their reading audience, are they? Why shouldn't you comment on it?

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  5. John- I guess it's because I don't have the words to describe them to people other than: "They real purdy."

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