January 4 2021

Marvel 1602, by Neil Gaiman

Darker shade of magic

A darker shade of magic, by WE Schwab

Title: Marvel 1602
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Andy Kubert
Illustrator: Richard Isanove
Genre/ issues: Fantasy/ sci-fi. Comics. Alternate history.

Shop local where you can: For Australian readers, you can find this book on Booktopia, or support your local independent bookstore. US readers, check out Bookshop.org.

My first read of the year, and it’s a doozy. Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman takes the characters we are familiar with from the Marvel Universe, and transposes them into early 17th century Europe. With clever adaptations of character names (pre-spidey Peter Parquagh is servant to the Queen’s intelligencer Sir Nicholas Fury) and subtle but unmistakable costuming that reflects our modern era expectations but contextualises them to the time and place of the comic, this is the Marvel we know, but also something completely different. Whilst the time period means that the United States of America is not yet on the map, Roanoke features as a looming concern, and despite the action being almost completely set in England and Europe, this still manages to be a text which speaks heavily to the concerns of the US, both when the comic was released, and sadly still today. Equality. Discrimination. Fear. Hatred of the other. Power and privilege.
And the artwork. Holy shit, folks, this is next level stunning. With illustrations by Andy Kubert and digital painting by Richard Isanove, every page – no, every frame is like an oil painting. The colour, texture and detail had me feeling like I was browsing a gallery of art from the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.
A great first book for the year. Now to decide where to shelve it – both my comic and my Gaiman shelves are packed to overflowing!

#TamaraReads #2021readingchallenge 1/2021

Happy reading,

Tamara

 

 

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Posted January 4, 2021 by Tamara Reads in category Book chat, Graphic Novels, Serious Adulty Books

About the Author

NSWPRC Officer, Teacher Librarian, English teacher and social media advocate. I've been teaching in Western Sydney for my entire teaching career, and love my job more than I love Neil Gaiman. (That's a lot, in case you're wondering!) I stalk authors (but always politely), fangirl over books, and drink coffee. And one of my guilty prides about my children is that they all have favourite authors. All opinions are my own.

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