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Gone to Amerikay Hardcover – April 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401223516
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401223519
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ghost story or detective fiction? History or mythology? Drawing on the freewheeling spirit of Irish and Irish-American popular culture, GONE TO AMERIKAY is all of these. A tale that takes place simultaneously in 1870, 1960 and 2010, it recognizes that though enormous changes have taken place over time in the relationship between the New World and the Old Country, some things, like love, justice and respect, are timeless and imperative. With thrilling illustrations, rich with the color and mood of these passions, you will find yourself unable to avoid lingering at length on them before picking up the story again."—Philip Chevron, The Pogues

"GONE TO AMERIKAY s a wonderful story, lushly illustrated, full of music and passion, twists and turns, beautifully evoking the Irish immigrant experience in three different times and sewing them all together brilliantly at the end. A real treat, for those who love New York history, or just a great story."—Kevin Baker, author of PARADISE ALLEY, DREAMLAND, LUNA PARK

"GONE TO AMERIKAY is not just a great book, it's an important book. In a marketplace where every season brings another supposed Big Event, this is the real deal. It uses the immigrant experience to talk about us, who we are, how and why we came here, with some echoes of where we might be going. The art is superb, containing some of the best and most evocative images of the period you're ever going to see, and the story is wide in scope but intimate in its details as it flashes forward and backward in time. Forget the hype, this is going to be THE book of 2012."—J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN:YEAR ONE, BABYLON FIVE, CHANGELING)

About the Author

Derek McCulloch, neither Irish nor American, nonetheless grew up listening to Irish music and reading comic books about New York City, little dreaming these unrelated interests would one day form the basis for a book. His first graphic novel, Stagger Lee, was published to some acclaim in 2006 and was nominated for an Eisner Award. His second graphic novel, Pug, was published in 2010. He is currently adapting the works of Damon Runyon for both comics and stage.

Colleen Doran's Irish antecedents named her Colleen, the Irish word for "girl," so there would be no confusion. Colleen Doran is American, therefore her ancestors are from many places. Colleen has written and/or drawn lots of comics and graphic novels like Mangaman, Sandman, A Distant Soil, Wonder Woman and Captain America. She has won a lot of nice prizes, and lectured in a lot of nice places. She also speaks as a creator rights advocate.


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This is a book that deserves a soundtrack.
Allan Harvey
And Colleen Doran's art, saturated in period detail and Jose Villarrubia's great color work, has never looked better.
Amazon Customer
So, for lovers of graphic arts, this book is worth having for that reason alone.
S Svendsen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Like 'Stagger Lee', 'Gone to Amerikay' is collection of threads woven together to create a magnificent tapestry, and like a great tapestry, the final image is not revealed until the last stitch is in place. The book follows the lives of three generations of Irish immigrants. It jumps between a young woman in 1870 anxiously awaiting her husbands arrival, a 1960 musician and a present day businessman. We see the struggles and triumphs of the forebears and how they affect the lives of their descendants. The book draws heavily on Irish folk music and makes one wish it came with a recording of these powerful songs.

The illustrations are vibrant and detailed. The illustrator (Colleen Doran) meticulously recreates 19th century New York (including the infamous 5 Corners district and the Dead Rabbits gang), the 1960s Greenwich Village scene and today's Big Apple. She manages to easily allow the reader to jump between timelines knowing exactly whose story we are following on every page.

The author (Derek McCulloch) relies heavily on dialog (as opposed to narration) to let the characters tell the story. The characters use the slang and colloquialisms of the time and gain their own voices in your mind as you read their words.

The story itself is complex and requires the readers attention. This is not a comic book, it is an illustrated novel. If you don't pay attention the first time through you will have to read it again to understand the ending. Which is not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Allan Harvey on April 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovingly crafted by writer Derek McCulloch and artist Colleen Doran, Gone to Amerikay details the experience of the Irish immigrant to America across three time periods. From the struggles and shattered dreams of 1870, the prejudice and exploitation of 1960, to the bright horizons of 2010, a tale is woven, part history, part mystery with just a hint of the supernatural. And, be sure, the Irish love of song is not forgotten: music almost becomes a character in its own right. This is a book that deserves a soundtrack.

McCulloch writes with a deftness of touch that staggers, providing each character with a distinctive voice and strong motivation. These characters get under your skin, their quiet strength in the face of adversity stays with you long after you've put the book down. And, although the stories in the three periods seem separate at first, the author neatly ties everything together at the end.

Doran's art has never been better. Each page is a mini-masterpiece of story-telling brilliance, and the eye-popping detail brings each period to life in a way that's never confusing for the reader. It's often the small incidents she shows in the background that impress most, especially the antics of the children. Doran has always had great felicity in her depiction of the young, and the relationship between Ciara and Maire O'Dwyer, as shown in the pitch perfect body language, will tear your heart out. A word of praise too must go to José Villarrubia, whose subtle colors -- he uses a different palette for each time period -- add immeasurably to the art's overall success.

A simply beautiful book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reckless Reader on August 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I don't have a lot to say except that this book proves, yet again, that graphic novels can do wonderful things that other art forms cannot. In ever so brief a book, the author and artist have woven together 3 tales to tell the story of the Irish coming to America -- a wonderful tale that should be told and re-told again and again!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Harris on April 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of those books where after you read it you sit back and think about it, and try to put it all together. It doesn't go away after you close the back cover. You pick it up again a little later and reread it, and the little things you missed the first time you catch on the second, and so on. This is a two dimensional world built so three dimensionally that you fall into it in the beginning and don't fall back out till the end, despite the seemingly haphazard, nonlinear story progression. There's three narratives woven back and forth across three lives and three centuries, bound together by the music of a people and a shared dream of a better life. There's a method to the madness.

I compared it to Watchmen to a friend, who said "but there's no superheroes in it." No, there aren't. That's not what I meant. I meant that I can still to this day reread Watchmen and find something I missed the previous 37 times I read it. And like that book, "Gone To Amerikay" has so many layers so skillfully interconnected I can't even begin to parse them all.

I think this book will be recognized as one of those benchmark books, a standard for others to aspire to, where the story and the art not only compliment each other, each individually displays the creator (Derek McCulloch, Colleen Doran) at peak performance; neither overshadows the other. It's a perfect fit.

I think I'm going to go read it again.
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