Ok. Wow ... I let the blog sit idle for a bit and the next thing I know evryone wants to read it. Let me asure everyone that just because I haven't been updating doesn't mean that I have stopped reading. I read WAY TOO MUCH. I have what's called 'lack of follow through'. A bit of trouble finishing what I start or in keeping comitments. I wrote way back when I started this blog that it would be updated fairly regularly. Time to do that.
The first graphic novel (one of the first? first? oh well...) is the focus of this post. I remember seeing it in the library when I was just a wee lad. It was in the 'grown up' section of the library and hence off limits to me. I remember that I thought it looked nifty though. Back then I wasn't interested in watching the world self-destruct and didn't think of it for years. I recently (recently... whatever... years then) saw on emptyworld.info and wanted to read it then forgot about it again. I remember it again ... what a month ago? Something like that. Anyhow finally got a copy of When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs. Glad I finally got around to reading it.
I have written a bit on this blog about how many authors pull the punch and don't deliver the gut wrenchingly bleak ending their book has been leading up to. Briggs pulls no punches here. It's every bit as bleak as Level 7 but told in an upbeat 'it'll be just fine' tone.
The novel starts as our male protagonist (Jim) is reading the paper and learning of the worsening state of affairs in the world. He's not worried - the Government will take care of things. He goes home and tells his wife Hilda what he has learned. She agrees with him the Government will take care of things.
Briggs uses a pretty clever device as he draws this book. The colors at the start are bold and bright. As the book get further it fades until it's almost white at the end. Humanity being washed away perhaps? Bleak novel... they don't get much bleaker.
When I started this blog I used to write the part that stood out for me in books. I should do that again. In When the Wind Blows it was the potato sacks. I can still see them.
Also like There Will Come Soft Rains this has been animated. It's well done too. Give it a look.