May 25, 2015

ARC Review: You Don't Say by Nate Powell

ARC Review of the Graphic Novel You Don't Say by Nate Powell

Title: You Don't Say

Author: Nate Powell

Publisher: Top Shelf Productions

Expected Date of Publication: May 26th, 2015

Number of Pages: 177

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


A celebrity glares. A community burns. A recipe summons a ghost. A dying woman makes her peace. An art form sustains the spirit. in You Don't Say award-winning graphic novelist Nate Powell -- of the #1 New York Times Bestseller March: Book One, and the Eisner Award-Winning "Graphic Novel of the Year" Swallow Me Whole -- collects a decade of powerful short works. Autobiography, fiction, essay comics, collaborations, and more fill these thoughtful, pitch-black pages, comprising rare and previously unreleased material from 2004-2013.


You Don't Say is a collection of short stories, which show us the evolution of Nate Powell as an artist. First of all, I have to confess that this is the first time I read something by Powell, but after this one I will definitely search and read some of his previously released work. 

The stories didn't have a common theme. Some were deeply personal, others were surreal sequences, one was a scene that didn't make it to Swallow Me Whole, and some were collaborations of the artist with other writers. From those the more personal stories, sometimes felt almost too personal. It was as if I was reading the diary of Nate Powell, without his permission. These particular stories, which are the first ones in the collection, didn't interest me enough, probably because I couldn't connect with them. I feel that this wouldn't be the case if they were a little more lengthy. My most favourite stories were the last five, which are the most recent ones. These stories were more intriguing to me because they were either the result of Powell's collaboration with another writer or were just created by him. More precisely, the stories Conjurers and Havens Have Not, were the ones I preferred from the entire collection.

The art style of You Don't Say was impressive. The designs were all unique and memorable. If I happened to pick up a comic, I would recognise it as the work of Nate Powell, without even looking at the cover. The whole collection is in black and white and I'd very much love to see some coloured piece of the artist's work. 

All in all, I would say that You Don't Say was a fairly enjoyable read. If you are a fan of Nate Powell, then you should definitely pick it up. If you are, like me, unaware of his other graphic novels, you could either read this as a guide to the artist's evolution through the years or start with his other graphic novels. In any case, I believe that this collection is worth a try.

So, my advice is...

Pick up a graphic novel!

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