notes on dutch literature

Posts Tagged ‘Self Made Hero’

Vincent – A Graphic Novel

In Pick of the Week on December 4, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Vincent - Barbare Stok
The turbulent life of Vincent van Gogh continues to serve as a source of inspiration for many people. In this graphic novel, artist and writer Barbara Stok takes the reader on a journey to the brief and intense period of time that the painter spent in the south of France. Vincent dreams of setting up an artists’ house in Arles for himself and his friends. However, his attacks of mental illness confuse and disorient him, culminating in the notorious incident with his ear and leaving his dreams shattered.
Throughout all of this, Vincent’s brother Theo stands by him, offering constant and unconditional support. Relevant story Van Gogh was passionate about his art. His ideas about success, setbacks and how to create a meaningful life provide an interesting counterpoint to our age of individualism and commercialism. Stok has succeeded in turning the experiences of this 19th-century artist into a story that is relevant to our own time. Barbara Stok (1970) has become well known for her candid autobiographical graphic novels. In 2009, she was awarded the Stripschapprijs for her oeuvre, one of the most prestigious prizes for comic books in the Netherlands. In addition to her work for newspapers and magazines, she has eight books to her name.

The English edition of Vincent is for sale in The Netherlands at the Van Gogh Musuem. The World-English rights are sold to Self Made Hero, who will publish Stok’s graphic novel in 2013.

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When David Lost His Voice

In Review on November 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM

When David Lost his Voice

Belgian Comic artist Judith Vanistendael’s latest graphic novel When David Lost His Voice is moving and powerful. “An superb graphic account of a family coping with cancer is moving without being mawkish […] This is an amazing book, one of the best published by the clever people at Self Made Hero so far”. – Rachel Cooke, The Observer.

The eponymous David learns that he has throat cancer just as his granddaughter is born—but tells no one for two months. As he undergoes treatment and his condition worsens, his family circles around him and around each other. David stays largely silent. The story is about watching a loved-one live with and die of cancer—and that focus lends itself particularly well to the graphic form. It is an outstanding testimony. The narrative is unflinching in depicting the black wars that break out among David’s family, even amid the deepest sorrow. The most touching moments of this book are the family’s fleeting glimpses of the shrinking, fading man. When David turns his back to reach a book for his older daughter, Miriam, she sees a skeleton through his suit jacket; when he turns back to her he is only bones.

When David Lost His Voice is published by Self Made Hero (April 2012, UK) and translated by Nora Mahony.

Read the full review in The Economist.

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