Thursday, October 06, 2011

ATW Review Round-Up

Joshua Slocum faces a wave of enormous proportions.

With only 5 days to go until the release of AROUND THE WORLD, I thought I'd round up some of the nice things being said about my new graphic novel...

Kirkus Reviews (star)

"By focusing on the travelers’ faces, he captures their distinct characters (and shared rock-steady determination) with such force and clarity that readers can’t help but be swept along by Stevens’ aggressive mustache, Bly’s steely glare at male doubters and nay-sayers, the aching heart visible behind Slocum’s tough, grizzled countenance.”

Booklist (star)

"Chronicling the true trip-around-the-world adventures of three nineteenth-century adventurers gives Phelan the opportunity to once again examine the Great American Narrative, as he did so effectively in his beautifully mythological The Storm in the Barn (Booklist Top of the List, 2009)... In addition to tight research and a gift for evoking both an era and the personalities that lived in it, the stories are greatly abetted by the magic of Phelan's art: washes of light and darkness that set the tone and effortless, uncomplicated (yet highly distinctive) faces that are the very essence of determination and adventure."

School Library Journal (star)

"The small, specific pleasures of Phelan’s work–the faces of miners emerging from the darkness as they converse, the way slanting rays of sun illuminate a large interior, the expression on Bly’s face as she eavesdrops on steamship sailors singing–are showcased in panels laid out in horizontal bands, reinforcing the linear, ever-onward nature of each narrative."

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (star)

“Phelan invests each tale with its own distinct mood and style—the humor of Stevens’ bumbling machine, the quick cuts between Bly’s travels and her employers’ journalistic maneuvering, the heart-aching loneliness and eerie hallucinations of Slocum’s peril-ridden voyage. Deftly controlled splashes of translucent watercolor tease along the outlines of Phelan’s spidery ink lines and sure-handed pencil dashes; the buttoned-down neatness of frames and gutters is an effective counterpoint to the daring and uncertainty of the adventures themselves.”

Horn Book

“Phelan successfully weaves graphically told stories with third-person narratives, the travelers’ own words, and, in Nellie Bly’s case, words of reporters. This volume is as stunning as his Scott O’Dell Award–winning The Storm in the Barn (rev. 11/09), with more text and with eye-catching illustrations rendered in pencil, ink, gouache, and watercolor.”

Fuse #8

“Like a good movie director he switches effortlessly between close-ups, scenic panoramas, and other angles and approaches. Phelan has a knack for avoiding the static... By bike, by sail, by train, they circled the globe and lived to tell the tale. And Matt Phelan knows just how to bring such tales to life. Great stuff.”

End of horn blowing. Thank you for indulging me.


Michelle Henninger said...

Just got this fir my birthday! It's as fabulous as I thought it would be. Great job, Matt!

Matt Phelan said...

Thanks, Michelle! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!