Visually Powerful and Challenging: Graphic Novels in April | NDR.de – Culture

Status: 27.04.2022 10:00 pm

Like no other medium, comics can compress time periods, shift them, distort things, let people do whatever their imagination can do. Three outstanding books can do all this.

by Mathias Heller

“The Endless World” by Jean-Marc Jancovici and Christoph Blain

Jean-Marc Jancovici is one of the most renowned French experts on energy and climate issues. Christoph Blain is a talented designer full of ingenuity and humor. Together they have created one of the best books on the subject.


Awakening and Enlightenment: “The Endless World” by Jean-Marc Jancovici and Christoph Blain

As the expert explains the basics and connections to the comic artist, which many of us get a slight twinkle in the eye just by listening to them, Blain manages to translate this information into understandable photos and graphics. One swallows page after page with joy. You finally understand how each person’s energy consumption is made up and that the most energy efficient machines bring no benefit if you suddenly have twice as many of them. We also learn that there is a surprising opportunity to start the energy transition. “The Endless World” is a complex non-fiction book under the guise of an entertaining – enlightening and enlightening graphic novel. Greta Thunberg will be happy with this book – but also her critics.

“Strong thing” by Lika Nüssli

A large herd of hay on foot goes up a mountain. This is not only the cover of Lika Nüssli’s book “Starkes Ding”, it is also a metaphor of strength and perseverance. Her father had it and she tells his story. He grew up on a farm in Toggenburg in eastern Switzerland. He has to play early. At the age of twelve, in 1949, the family gave him – for a franc a day on a remote farm – as so-called contract children. He will stay there for four years.

Book cover: Lika Nüssli - Strong Thing © Modern Edition

Touching and resonant: “Starkes Ding” by Lika Nüssli

What at first looks like a pen scribble in sixth grade art, turns out to be a very deep portrait the soul of a relative. Lika Nüssli is based on the rural painting of Eastern Switzerland. Some of her figures are redundant, with hands, ears, nose or feet and large feet – but they live off a level of detail, like the Kurfürsten Mountains. Nüssli manages to establish a close relationship with this boy – her father – and his fate as a contract child while reading. Touching and resonant.

Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, Ryan North and Albert Monteys

“Schlachhof 5” is Kurt Vonnegut’s most famous novel and for some a monument of anti-war literature. Published in 1969 and filmed three years later, it is now available as a graphic novel for the first time. Canadian Ryan North and Spaniard Albert Monteys implemented it. Both are among the best in the comic scene.

Book Cover: Kurt Vonnegut with Ryan North and Albert Monteys - Slaughterhouse 5 © Cross Cult Verlag

Visually powerful and timeless: “Schlachhof 5” by Kurt Vonnegut, Ryan North and Albert Monteys

Vonneg’s superficial war satire on his main character Billy Pilgrim, who survived the Dresden fire storm as a prisoner of war and is later able to travel through time with the help of aliens, becomes an impressive sidewalk ride. There are time jumps every minute. Especially in comics, these perspective changes are easy to implement through changes in color and style. The creators make all the stops, and so you suddenly feel like you are in an old Marvel comic book.

“Schlachthof 5” was not unfairly nominated for the Comic Oscar, the Eisner Prize, last year. This adaptation is extremely successful, visually powerful and in the truest sense: timeless.

additional information

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NDR Culture New books 28.04.2022 | 12:40 pm

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