counter create hit The Strange Death of Alex Raymond - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

The Strange Death of Alex Raymond

Availability: Ready to download

Legendary creator Dave Sim is renowned world-wide for his groundbreaking Cerebus the Aardvark. Now, in The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, Sim brings to life the history of comics' greatest creators, using their own techniques. Equal parts Understanding Comics and From Hell, Strange Death is a head-on collision of ink drawing and spiritual intrigue, pulp comics and movies, Legendary creator Dave Sim is renowned world-wide for his groundbreaking Cerebus the Aardvark. Now, in The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, Sim brings to life the history of comics' greatest creators, using their own techniques. Equal parts Understanding Comics and From Hell, Strange Death is a head-on collision of ink drawing and spiritual intrigue, pulp comics and movies, history and fiction. The story traces the lives and techniques of Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon, Rip Kirby), Stan Drake (Juliet Jones), Hal Foster (Prince Valiant), and more, dissecting their techniques through recreations of their artwork, and highlighting the metatextual resonances that bind them together.


Compare

Legendary creator Dave Sim is renowned world-wide for his groundbreaking Cerebus the Aardvark. Now, in The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, Sim brings to life the history of comics' greatest creators, using their own techniques. Equal parts Understanding Comics and From Hell, Strange Death is a head-on collision of ink drawing and spiritual intrigue, pulp comics and movies, Legendary creator Dave Sim is renowned world-wide for his groundbreaking Cerebus the Aardvark. Now, in The Strange Death of Alex Raymond, Sim brings to life the history of comics' greatest creators, using their own techniques. Equal parts Understanding Comics and From Hell, Strange Death is a head-on collision of ink drawing and spiritual intrigue, pulp comics and movies, history and fiction. The story traces the lives and techniques of Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon, Rip Kirby), Stan Drake (Juliet Jones), Hal Foster (Prince Valiant), and more, dissecting their techniques through recreations of their artwork, and highlighting the metatextual resonances that bind them together.

37 review for The Strange Death of Alex Raymond

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    'A Metaphysical History of Comics Photorealism', and a loopy project in so many ways that I don't even know where to start. If you're aware of Dave Sim it's almost certainly from Cerebus, which started off as a so-so Conan spoof, morphed into a masterpiece expanding the frontiers of comics as an art form, and then spiralled off into a mess of horrible gender politics; deeply idiosyncratic hermeneutics; and worst of all, Three Stooges riffs. After 300 issues of that, which to my knowledge is stil 'A Metaphysical History of Comics Photorealism', and a loopy project in so many ways that I don't even know where to start. If you're aware of Dave Sim it's almost certainly from Cerebus, which started off as a so-so Conan spoof, morphed into a masterpiece expanding the frontiers of comics as an art form, and then spiralled off into a mess of horrible gender politics; deeply idiosyncratic hermeneutics; and worst of all, Three Stooges riffs. After 300 issues of that, which to my knowledge is still a unique feat for one creator, it was anyone's guess what would come next, but I'm pretty sure nobody had money on a fashion mag pastiche interleaved with a history/conspiracy theory of photorealist artwork in comics. Parts of the latter strand of which Sim then decided to rework as this project – only to find himself pretty much unable to draw on account of a mystery ailment. Thus, it reaches us now with a new conclusion by Carson Grubaugh, working from Sim's rough layouts as far as they go, and then attempting to put some kind of ending on a project which, even aside from that mystery malady, was probably unfinishable in any real sense. As Sim himself said, in an interview Grubaugh quotes, "The story was huge...and it was...it wasn't just huge, it was impossibly huge." How come? Surely Alex Raymond was one man, who died in one car crash 65 years ago? Isn't the cold case investigation one of the standard story formats of our age? How could it get so thoroughly out of hand? Well. Let's take as an example the section where Sim goes into great detail exploring comics cover-dated July-August 1949 which contain echoes of the life of Margaret Mitchell – finding so many that it "stretched the concept of a coincidence up to – and well beyond – any rational breaking point". You know, Margaret Mitchell as in wrote Gone With The Wind. Was she involved in the crash? Did she know Alex Raymond? Not as such. As for the limits of coincidence...well, there were an awful lot of comics published in any given month of the 1940s, and speaking as someone with pretty high-grade apophenia myself, finding connections between any two things really isn't that difficult. Particularly when you bear in mind how many ways there are to find a link. So, if we confine ourselves to the numerology, here are three connections at which Sim points across the course of this book: "(Stan Drake is born November 9, 1921, the day after Margaret Mitchell's twenty-first birthday.) (Seven seven seven)" A comic with a cover recalling the Gone With The Wind premiere fourteen years earlier – "(Seven seven)" "Stan Drake died forty-nine years, to the day, after Zelda Fitzgerald. Forty-nine. Seven Seven." There are a lot of players here, and a lot of multiples of seven, and then on top of that it doesn't even have to be the same day – the day after is fine too! Lords know I'm prone to this sort of stuff myself at times, but I try to remember Ken Campbell's golden rule: "Don’t believe in anything – but you can suppose everything." Sim, on the other hand, is big on believing; this is, after all, a man who follows all three Abrahamic religions. In short, you know that image/GIF used to indicate conspiracy mania, the wild-eyed guy with the bits of paper pinned to the wall, convinced he's just conclusively proved that the Beatles were all replaced or jet fuel doesn't melt steel beams or whatever the fuck it is this week? The sensation of reading The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond is an awful lot like that, except if the wall behind him were, while remaining just as baffling, absolutely beautiful. Sim was always, after all, whatever one might think of him as a writer or a thinker or even a person, one hell of an artist. The best letterer comics ever had, too, but that's less on display here. The point is, the guy could draw, and he taught himself to do it all over again here, trying to unlock the secrets of Raymond and his peers. None of whose work I really know, incidentally – obviously I'm aware of Flash Gordon, but more through the film and the cartoon than the original strips. The likes of Rip Kirby, or The Heart Of Juliet Jones, I only know from reading Sim's account of them, seeing his reproductions of the panels. Whether his inferences about Raymond's methods are commonplace, innovative, or outlandish, I couldn't tell you. Someone who knows this material, or someone who can draw, would be much better placed to say; all I know is that it's fascinating to read, and gorgeous to behold. Sim asks of Raymond, "How did he maintain the precision of his brush stroke, the consistency of his brush stroke and the length of his brush stroke over wide areas?" These are questions worth answering, and also questions which are at least potentially answerable. There's also the fact that this whole set of cartoonists, but Raymond most of all, were doing work which would be reproduced quite shabbily in the newspapers of the day, which simply weren't up to printing the fine lines their art used for shading, so in a sense their greatest achievements, and much of their effort, were purely for their own benefit and that of the very few people who'd see the originals. Now, isn't that a wonderful study in how artists think? And it works; what the original readers of the papers saw was fine, but what's here is gorgeous, and those components are worked into fabulous layouts, counterpointing old panels as part of a wider whole. Sim clearly feels an attraction to this set, for all he may not approve of their morals. He quotes Neal Adams, a bridge between Raymond's era of comics and Sim's: "These were guys who dressed in three-button suits and lived in Connecticut and drove sports cars. And it was a group of them. A whole bunch of them. If they didn't live in Connecticut, they lived as if they lived in Connecticut and they all dressed the same." A more elegant time, as against the jeans and t-shirts which Sim insists all modern comics types wear (again, quite the generalisation, but I'm going to try to do better than Sim about not going down every rabbit hole I pass). So little wonder if he starts putting himself in their heads; method art has a long and often fruitful history, and it comes as no great surprise that Sim finds it easier to ink like Alex Raymond when he thinks like Alex Raymond, imagining that he needs to hurry up with this panel so he can go drive his sports car (Sim himself, just to be clear, lives a very spartan and entirely sports-car-free life). The problem arises with some of the other stuff Sim finds going through his mind while thinking like Raymond, which he then brings back as proof positive. So, early on, of the headlong ride in fellow cartoonist Stan Drake's car which would end in Raymond's death, with Drake thrown clear: "The central fact: it had been, unquestionably, a murderously aggressive act on Raymond's part." It's that 'unquestionably', isn't it? Not supposing, but fervently believing to the extent of stating as solid fact. And that may seem bold, but really it's only the edges of the deep, dark wood we're about to enter. "No one but Raymond - in 1946 - could have seriously contemplated such a thing. A metaphysical event...and process...without precedent or equal: into unexplored inner – and upper – reaches of ultra-realistic incarnation. An event and process into which – and within which – Raymond would soon find himself completely subsumed.... And which would – ultimately – destroy him." "Alex Raymond – in developing Rip Kirby – is becoming the first human being to methodically and purposefully shatter the metaphysical realism barrier". In short, Sim argues, and apparently feels that he has proved, that Alex Raymond unleashed something through the meticulous realism of his developing art style. Something which would lead to his death. The thing is, while that's plainly bonkers by currently accepted standards of consensus reality, I don't necessarily disagree. "The creator shapes the comic art, and the comic art in turn shapes the creator. And sometimes, some times, the comic art snaps the creator in two." Yeah, why not? Two of my favourite comics writers are magicians. One, Alan Moore, created the character of John Constantine, and then met him, an experience several subsequent Constant writers have also had. Grant Morrison, on the other hand, created a sexy protagonist called King Mob in order to reap the benefits of giving him exactly the sort of girlfriend Morrison wanted, but forgot that King Mob was also going to get tortured in the course of the story, suffering injuries which were then mirrored on Morrison. I have no problem whatsoever with supposing these stories to be true. But some of the conclusions Sim reaches from this point are, and I say this as someone who just accepted comics writers meeting their characters, a bit on the batshit side. The problem isn't just that Sim's argument is wrong, it's that in places it's not even clear what argument he's making – again, remember that conspiracy image. Clearly it's something about the comics and the lives reflecting into each other, what Moore and Morrison would call magic but Sim scrupulously leaves as 'metaphysics'. Occasionally the ideas on gender which detonated his popularity intrude, still managing to sound out-there even in the age of innumerable online incels: "Fictitious, light-projected female giantism, by 1950, all but overwhelms the actual female psyche, the female sense of actual self. Actresses' actual lives are a brief and unhappy adventure of nightmarishly long hours worked at fictitious pretence interspersed with sequential adulteries and fornications...in place of the happy, lifelong married lives all women actually desire." But there's less of this than you might think. And it probably doesn't help that permission was refused to use Margaret Mitchell's words, so the Peanuts-style Sim from one of two framing devices that never quite resolve themselves gets pasted over all the quotes from her – a couple of times, there are as many as nine of him spawning like pop-ups all over a single page. But all the same, I like to think I'm at least moderately good at following a complicated argument, and I was still unclear why we were even talking about Margaret Mitchell in the first place. Finally, we get there, and – SPOILER, maybe, if the concept even applies here – Sim explains the crux of it all. Raymond's scripter, Ward Greene, was a racist who wanted to do a Gone With The Wind comic, while also having the leeway to adapt it as he saw fit. And, says Sim, the threat was "A Ward Greene-ghosted Gone With The Wind comic strip, powered by the metaphysical juggernaut of Alex Raymond's increasingly realistic drawings, if it would (or had) (or would) come into existence, bringing about a mid-twentieth century revival of the racist Southern Confederacy." A threat which seems at once ridiculous, and inconsequential. There are mentions elsewhere in the book of the Klan's mid-twentieth century revival, the outrages they perpetrated. More recently we had the early twenty-first century revival endorsed by the literal President. Neither of which needed an Alex Raymond comic making Gone With The Wind more racist. Still, at least we've had an argument of sorts; phew. Maybe now we'll get back to that car crash... "Arguably, early eighteenth-century Ireland is the metaphysical lynchpin in all this". It is? And we're into Margaret Mitchell as iteration of an old infernal presence. That sort of fizzles out, just in time for Aleister Crowley and Krazy Kat, neither of whom has been mentioned up to this point, to take the stage, linked by "Reporter, adventurer, future self-confessed cannibal and lifelong obsessive bondage fetishist William Seabrook". You might think that bit about cannibalism would merit explanation, but no, it just gets left there (though I infer that it's from an account of some ceremony in which he participated, recounted in one of his travel books?). By this point Carson Grubaugh, "skeptical, but spooked", has taken over from true believer Sim, and for me he's a much easier guide to follow, both logically and emotionally. He takes a middle path, prepared to accept a bottom-up version of the 'metaphysics', that comics creators explore patterns and get caught in the flow – as Sim has done himself, and Grubaugh by continuing... the reader too, of course, by getting this far. The problem being, like any book of any power at all, what it has is catching. So when we get Grubaugh saying "That entire 'top down' conception of exsitence makes no sense, to me" – the reader, or at least this reader, thinks: of all the words to have a typo. And in the picture from which this speech bubble comes, Carson is *sitting*. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Nothing, probably. Just like the inconsistencies in the reports of Alex Raymond's crash, the details of a windscreen or an ear which Sim triumphantly points out as inaccuracies, are more likely the confusion of a report from a man who's narrowly escaped his own death in the same crash, or shoddy reporting, or both, rather than grand signs and symbols, or evidence of a conspiracy. But that absolute certainty that this can't be the case, that there's a hidden pattern, leaves the whole thing with the tinge of outsider art. Likewise those layouts, the expressive intricacy of the early pages becoming more and more of a tangle as the book goes on, until it's finally stripped back in those last rough layouts. The irony here being that Sim is exactly the sort to disapprove of decadence, but this ramification upon ramification until a work sprawls beyond comprehensibility as it ties itself in knots is as decadent as they come. Please understand, I don't say any of this to dismiss The Strange Death, at least not as art rather than argument. I like some outsider art, and if Richard Dadd had done comics, I think he might have produced a work not unlike this. But bloody hell, even if you don't hold with the whole 'metaphysics' bit, whereby no wonder probing into the 'upper reaches' blew up in Sim's face and left him unable to draw, I can see how drawing something like this would mess your hands up, because it's at the extreme limit of what human digits can reasonably be expected to produce. I could feel my eyes going a bit funny at times, and ended up having to read most of it zoomed in. To be fair, it's worth noting that Grubaugh at least is aware of the issue here – this is a rare case of a Netgalley ARC opening with a note asking us to remember that the book has been prepared for print, and for a larger scale, where I can well imagine it might be more of a sensory delight. Even as is, I'm very glad I read it. Investigate it as you might some gorgeous old map of the four-cornered Earth, marvel at it - just don't believe it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike Dominic

    This book is a beautifully illustrated, cleverly designed and perfectly executed work from a master of the medium. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that is nearly unreadable. In its early stages, the book is quite captivating and, to this artist, inspirational for the quality of Sim's work and the way he makes the work of the photorealist comic artists fresh to new eyes. Sure, there's a hint of conspiracy theory in the subject matter, but that's more than compensated for by the investigati This book is a beautifully illustrated, cleverly designed and perfectly executed work from a master of the medium. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that is nearly unreadable. In its early stages, the book is quite captivating and, to this artist, inspirational for the quality of Sim's work and the way he makes the work of the photorealist comic artists fresh to new eyes. Sure, there's a hint of conspiracy theory in the subject matter, but that's more than compensated for by the investigation into the historic significance of the art style. However, as the book proceeds, the material becomes more uncomfortably existential and meta-textual, making it difficult to not only follow but to reconcile with anything resembling reality. By the time Sim breaks out the numerology ("seven-seven-seven", etc.), it seems that he's gone full tilt into crazypants territory and that's when you know it's time to check out. Dogged readers who make into the section (of which, admittedly, we were forewarned) where Sim has to bow out and Grubaugh takes over will find that by the end of the book, even the subject matter has been abandoned, and the book becomes fully self-referential and inward facing. In the end, it's progression from analytical study through metaphysical exploration to self-absorbed navel-gazing is either a great work of existentialism on a par with Heidegger and Sartre, or a pointless journey down "Who Cares" lane. Still....it's got some pretty pictures, so there's that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dominick

    What a dumpster fire of a book this is. What credit it does get is for often quite stunning art, though the pages become increasingly difficult to read as the book progresses, not only because of the cluttered imagery but also because text/caption placing becomes increasingly ... complex, I guess, making it difficult to figure out what to read when. This may be part of Sim's point, of course, as the ideas of "layers upon layer upon layers" and (I kid you not) the simultaneity of past, present, a What a dumpster fire of a book this is. What credit it does get is for often quite stunning art, though the pages become increasingly difficult to read as the book progresses, not only because of the cluttered imagery but also because text/caption placing becomes increasingly ... complex, I guess, making it difficult to figure out what to read when. This may be part of Sim's point, of course, as the ideas of "layers upon layer upon layers" and (I kid you not) the simultaneity of past, present, and future are key conceits. One way the layering works--Sim folding in redrawn and recaptioned (sometimes) panels and sequences from various old comic strips and books--is a kind of interesting instance of meta-comics, I guess, but it's in service of frankly batshit crazy nonsense. Sim has invented this idea he calls "Comic book metaphysics": what happens in comics affects reality. His thesis, insofar as it can even be determined, since the work is not only incomplete but also simply expands in its interweaving of dubiously linked events and people as it progresses, seems to be something about the death of Alex Raymond being tied to the writer of Rip Kirby, Ward Greene, using the strip to encode autobiography and to trying somehow to influence the life of Margaret Mitchell, even though she was killed in a car crash (but so was Alex Raymond! Though Raymond was driving, and Mitchell was a pedestrian....) in 1949, seven years before Raymond's death in 1956, and even though Greene had evidently stopped writing the strip in 1952. How do we know the strip includes encoded autobiographical elements? Well, sometimes, instead of a period or three ellipses appear following text, only two dots appear. Two dots are Morse code for "I." Obviously, therefore, when these tow dots appear, Greene is secretly telling us that "I" (i.e. he) is speaking. What other evidence is there, you ask? Well, um ... none, other than Sim's apophenic-induced enumeration of too many links and echoes to ... well, whatever to be explained away as coincidence. The pattern grows as the book goes on, until we get to Sim folding in references to a Margaret Mitchell from Ireland two hundred years prior to the events he is ostensible documenting "arguably" (credit to Sim for stating that it is merely arguable, not incontrovertible) the "lynchpin" of the whole thing. Sim finds echoes of Margaret Mitchell in various comics women drawn by different hands, because they all look so similar ... which is normative in comics. Sim finds numerological significance in sevens, noting many dates of passages of time that include or add up to multiples of seven. Why is this significant? Who knows? Sim simply notes the numbers. He's also fond of claiming that things happened "exactly" a certain amount of time apart (e.g. two different books published "exactly" two years apart), without explaining why it is significant or even what he means by "exactly": the same day in the two different years? If so, he doesn't provide the dates, or even tell us how he could know (or if he does, I missed it). Eventually, Sim abandoned the project, so the final few dozen pages are cobbled together by collaborator Carson Grubaugh (also no slouch as an artist), from partially completed art. Do we ever actually get to the explanation of Raymond's strange death. Nope. If you want to look at some nice art, this might be worth a glance. If you want some information about the realist school of comics, Sim does have some interesting things to say about the techniques of Raymond and others early in the book. If you want a coherent account of Raymond's death and a clear explanation of what was strange about it, you're out of luck. I laughed frequently reading this, not because it was supposed to be funny but because Sim's manufactured correspondences between events and his inferences about the people whose lives he is ostensibly documenting are frequently laughable in their absurdity, as well as in the absolute confidence in their veracity with which Sim asserts them. Even his collaborator on the project, Carson Grubaugh, wonders in the final part of the book whether Sim is just crazy. I'm gonna say, arguably yes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Living the Line/Diamond Book Distributors for a digital review copy via NetGalley of ‘The Strange Death of Alex Raymond’ by Dave Sim with Grubaugh Carson. It is due to be published in December 2021. This was a fascinating history of photorealism in comics. It is quite visually complex and at times entered territory that reminded me of Robert Anton Wilson’s wild writings on coincidences and conspiracies. I was able to follow it to some degree though I likely wasn’t as invested as some My thanks to Living the Line/Diamond Book Distributors for a digital review copy via NetGalley of ‘The Strange Death of Alex Raymond’ by Dave Sim with Grubaugh Carson. It is due to be published in December 2021. This was a fascinating history of photorealism in comics. It is quite visually complex and at times entered territory that reminded me of Robert Anton Wilson’s wild writings on coincidences and conspiracies. I was able to follow it to some degree though I likely wasn’t as invested as some readers might be. However, the artwork was stunning and I was very impressed. While I not a huge reader of comics and graphic novels, I do have an interest in art history and aware that illustrations, such as those found in comics, have often been overlooked by art historians. In actuality, comic art has been at times innovative and certainly worthy of study and inclusion in the history of modern art. Dave Sim placed himself in ‘Strange Death’ as its narrator addressing the reader from the printed page, including at times as a Charlie Brown-like character. It appears to have taken a long time to produce the final book due to various issues. Dave Sim had to step aside from its drawing due to a painful malady that effected his wrist. As a result in 2015 Grubaugh Carson, a fellow photorealist artist, was brought in to complete the art in collaboration with Sim. Then in 2020 Sim left the project completely though gave permission to Carson to finish and then publish ‘Strange Death’ in its entirety. This was detailed in Part Five, titled ‘In Dave’s Wake’. I didn’t find this had quite the impact of the earlier sections. In addition, it was rendered in part using blue ink and this proved harder for me to read as the contrast wasn’t as strong as with black ink on white. Overall, I found ‘The Strange Death of Alex Raymond’ a visually detailed, playful and thought-provoking work of meta fiction that was rich in ideas, even if a little ‘out there’ in places. As a result it wasn’t a graphic novel that I could zip through and it took me a considerable amount of time to read it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for an advanced copy of this graphic novel. There is a lot going on in this new work by legendary writer illustrator Dave Sim and Carson Grubaugh. A lot. The Strange Death of Alex Raymond starts I believe as a possible history on the realistic art of the 20th century, moves into metaphysics and numerology and lots of other -isms that you love the art work for, but kind of just fumble around trying to find the plot. A manager doing inventory at My thanks to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for an advanced copy of this graphic novel. There is a lot going on in this new work by legendary writer illustrator Dave Sim and Carson Grubaugh. A lot. The Strange Death of Alex Raymond starts I believe as a possible history on the realistic art of the 20th century, moves into metaphysics and numerology and lots of other -isms that you love the art work for, but kind of just fumble around trying to find the plot. A manager doing inventory at a comic book store is involved too. And the art is just beautiful. Somewhere during the project Mr. Sim developed a mysterious malady that effected his drawing hand, and he was unable to finish. And another artist, Carson Grubaugh was brought in to bring the project to a sense of completion. I won't confess to understanding what I read, but I did enjoy it. The art work is beautiful odd, but you see the images and the joy he was feeling doing it. I just feel guilty that he might have crippled himself trying to do it. The story is not really a story more long discourses, biographical sketches and stories,about the comic legend Alex Raymond, his death and his artistic legacy, which sound normal, but trust me they are not. The weird starts early, and while some of it is interesting, it is not for everyone. This is not much of a review. If you enjoyed Mr.Sim's Cerebus comic series than this might be for you. For a history of the era that Alex Raymond drew in, again this might be for you. It is a very hard call. I personally recommend it, but you might want to give it a good look in the store. If you like the weird, with great artwork, that might not fit the story, this might be for you. If you like it, great, if you don't I understand. I'm with both of you too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Strange Death of Alex Raymond is a beautifully drawn but largely inscrutable graphic novel begun by Dave Sim and more or less completed by Carson Grubaugh. Due out in Aug 2021, it's 320 pages and will be available in hardcover format. This is a difficult book to evaluate and review. On the one hand the art is top notch - beautifully rendered and clean - it mesmerizes. The story on the other hand is just strange and very disjointed. It begins ( Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Strange Death of Alex Raymond is a beautifully drawn but largely inscrutable graphic novel begun by Dave Sim and more or less completed by Carson Grubaugh. Due out in Aug 2021, it's 320 pages and will be available in hardcover format. This is a difficult book to evaluate and review. On the one hand the art is top notch - beautifully rendered and clean - it mesmerizes. The story on the other hand is just strange and very disjointed. It begins (mostly) understandably, with a parallel narrative essay on photorealism generously interleaved with kind of nutsobonkers conspiracy theory and soon switches into turbo-numerology and around that point I lost (and never found) the plot again. If it's truly sublime genius, a modern comics stream-of-consciousness nod to Finnegan's Wake, Anna Karenina and other classics, or simply self absorbed navel gazing must be left to wiser minds than mine. I do know that I simply couldn't catch any narrative threads and wasn't able to sink myself into the story at any point, but I really loved looking at the art. Five stars for the art. Two stars for the narrative (which may well have been too intellectual and subtle for me). Three and a half stars overall. For Dave Sim completionists, this will be a must-buy. Probably important for public library acquisition, otherwise I'm in a bit of a quandary for audiences for whom this will be a good fit. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jared Driskill

    Imagine if David Lynch wrote Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics with a heavy dash of From Hell thrown in, and you may get an idea of what to expect from The Strange Death of Alex Raymond. However, this is not a book that you can read passively as the connections that Dave Sim makes between the people surrounding the death of Alex Raymond takes a bit of thinking (at least on my part) to make sense. The payoff is worth the effort if you put the work in. Apparently, I have received a misprinted Imagine if David Lynch wrote Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics with a heavy dash of From Hell thrown in, and you may get an idea of what to expect from The Strange Death of Alex Raymond. However, this is not a book that you can read passively as the connections that Dave Sim makes between the people surrounding the death of Alex Raymond takes a bit of thinking (at least on my part) to make sense. The payoff is worth the effort if you put the work in. Apparently, I have received a misprinted copy from Amazon and there were several pages that were partially blank, but this did not deter my enjoyment of the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Critter

    This book really isn't for everyone and I'm one of those it is not for. The artwork is stunning, but everything else was a struggle for me. I didn't understand what I read. It is a confusing and strange piece. This book feels like it is supposed to be thought provoking, but I just feel confused. I also massively struggled with the font, which was very difficult for me to read. I wanted to be able to enjoy this one, especially with the amazing artwork, but I just couldn't. This book really isn't for everyone and I'm one of those it is not for. The artwork is stunning, but everything else was a struggle for me. I didn't understand what I read. It is a confusing and strange piece. This book feels like it is supposed to be thought provoking, but I just feel confused. I also massively struggled with the font, which was very difficult for me to read. I wanted to be able to enjoy this one, especially with the amazing artwork, but I just couldn't.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    Just couldn't be doing with this huge splodge of up-its-own-arse-ness. Not for the general reader at all. Just couldn't be doing with this huge splodge of up-its-own-arse-ness. Not for the general reader at all.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Trent Rogers

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sunte chled

  13. 5 out of 5

    Xaanua

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeramy Lamanno

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robert Glover

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  18. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Hogmire

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Paletta

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ryn Baginski

  26. 4 out of 5

    Themightycheez

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Todd Glaeser

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alberto Martín de Hijas

  30. 5 out of 5

    Larri

  31. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

  32. 4 out of 5

    Gwynplaine

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

  34. 5 out of 5

    Lou

  35. 5 out of 5

    JS

  36. 5 out of 5

    Joe Richardson

  37. 5 out of 5

    Dušan Mladenović

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.