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Bardin the Superrealist Hardcover – September 20, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (September 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560977590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560977599
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spanish cartoonist Max uses some of the most cherished pieces of high art as the catalyst for his character Bardin's funny and thoroughly humane adventures. In the first story, Bardin is taken to the superreal world by the Andalusian Dog, who complains about his misuse by Dalí and Buñuel. But Bardin also learns from this strange canine that he is the new custodian of this even stranger world. In another strip, pondering Brueghal's The Triumph of Death reassures Bardin about his own life. Max has designed Bardin with a large, essentially bald head perfect for drawing all kinds of emotions, ranging over fear, terror, righteous anger, and jocularity in the face of the truly weird. Almost all of the last half of the book is taken up by "The Sound and the Fury," a silent strip in which Bardin must fight through many bizarre situations as a knight complete with sword and helmet. Each page has four large panels for the action, so even though the ideas might be peculiar, the story reads clearly. As in the rest of the book, Max takes what can be impenetrable and uses some fine cartooning to make it accessible and enjoyable. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Catalan cartoonist Max carries on the tradition of surrealism, which Herbert Read tried to get called superrealism, in comics starring a big-headed little guy in a suit, Bardin, who, like Read, is a revolutionary critic. One day, while crossing the street, he enters the superreal world, which, as the title character of Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel's 1929 film Un chien andalou explains, is more real than the real world. It looks like a desert in a Dali painting, or Coconino County in George Herriman's Krazy Kat, complete with lighthouses, beached ships, upended cars, and other stuff sticking out of the sand. The chien (dog) invests Bardin with superrealist powers, including interior vision. Then it's back to reality and on to ventures into a quasi-Hindu/Buddhist world of the oversoul, which swells to psychedelic superproportions before Bardin cuts the deity on duty down to size, and also, via dreams, Fuseli's eighteenth-century ur-surrealist painting The Nightmare. Finally, in the long, wordless "The Sound and the Fury," Bardin, vorpal blade in hand, heroically quests through a forest like those of the Jabberwock, Jeff Smith's Bone, and even Hollywood's Wizard of Oz, until he reaches his nightmare and wreaks (oops!) vengeance. If you glimpse traces of Magritte, Goya, and Zap Comix in Max's exuberant panels, then you're really enjoying yourself. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Foltz on February 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It has become cliche to rail against the prevalent notion that the medium of comics is one suited for children; however, the "comics are for kids" mindset is proving to be a difficult one to exorcise from the public mind. To see this, one need only witness the existing reviews of this book.

Bardin is a sometimes-difficult fusion of surrealism, gnosticism, philosophy and art. Max references classic European comic artists and styles, as well as traditional art and artists (Dali, The Night Mare, etc.) while addressing topics of the existence or non-existence of God, idealism, sex, social critique, and the anxieties of modernism. There is no coherent story, but an unfolding of many short stories, apparently compiled over a span of years.

This is a solid book that I highly recommend. It leaves the reader desiring more, or perhaps at least more elaboration on some of the themes and mini-plots; unfortunately there probably won't be more Bardin available for some time.

A very unusual and compelling work that will be of interest to any fan of comics or modern art.
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Format: Hardcover
The Bardin strips - presented here in full color throughout - are unique, presenting a shape-shifting protagonist of a kid between Peanuts, Dali, and with a dash of everything in between. While it's the sophisticated pre-teen who would gain the most from these, any kid who regularly pursues graphic novels and who likes art will find BARDIN THE SUPERREALIST an intriguing read - as will their parents.
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