mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Snakeskin Headbands. (62)

Journey Into Mohawk Country by Harmen Meyndertsz van der Bogaert & George O'Connor.

Chiefs keep an idol,
a talisman for good luck.
Mine is the Spider.

This is a graphic novel that uses the text of a 1634 journal kept by a Dutch explorer named Harmen Meyndertsz van der Bogaert. Illustrator George O'Connor fills in the blanks, using the recitation of facts as a skeleton to hang a body of visual storytelling off of. The combination works-- I feel like I've seen it before, but I can't think of another example. Pairing historical documents with sight gags & forlorn vistas really works-- the terseness of the source documents-- a recitation of facts-- allows the storyteller a lot of wiggle room, & the switch between media make the line between historical document & historical fiction really clear. George O'Connor has the cartooning chops to carry off his end of the bargain, & summarizes the charm of Van der Bogaert in his afterword "...thank you also for being the sort of man who would want to buy a bear." This is a nice little comic about...well, about what happened in New Amsterdam, before it was New York.
Tags: books, comics, haiku, o'connor

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