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Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened Hardcover – July 24, 2007

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The premise behind this anthology is clever: editor Rodriguez bought a batch of vintage picture postcards, gave them to various cartoonists from varying backgrounds and commissioned 16 short stories inspired by the brief, sometimes cryptic messages written on each card, preceded by reproductions of the cards themselves. The biggest names in the book are Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner, who, true to form, write about the postcard that introduced the two of them; the most engaging piece, though, is Stuart Moore and Michael Gaydos's deadpan but deeply silly tale of traveling tic-tac-toe hustlers. Other highlights include Phillip Hester's elaboration on an Easter card, concerning an unlikely spiritual awakening, and Joshua Hale Fialkov and Micah Farritor's subdued sketch about a pair of Americans in France during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, many stories lapse into sentimentality (like the saccharine contributions by Tom Beland and James W. Powell) or stretch the book's premise awkwardly. One piece somehow twists a whimsical postcard into a brutal horror story; another is an unfunny parody of old superhero comics. And curiously, only a few stories address the images on the cards at all or do much with the peculiar and evocative visual style of those pictures. (June)
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From Booklist

Bored on an antiquing jaunt with his girlfriend, editor Rodriguez discovered the joy of old, mailed postcards. Their brief messages and their writers' and recipients' genders conjured ordinary life stories otherwise buried in the past. Sharing his enthusiasm and cards with comics creators, he suggested they elaborate on what they saw in cards that intrigued them. This book contains 16 of their responses, realistic stories that, since the preponderance of their inspirations are dated 1900–25, unfold with the sad inevitability of literary naturalism, in its heyday during that period. Most tell of broken faith, promises, and friendships; some are their protagonists' decades-later perspectives on the past. Only one, an affectionate masked-crime-fighter parody, is fantastic. Two are set much later and follow, respectively, a soldier shipping out to North Africa in 1942 and the marriage of nonfiction comics standard-bearers Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner. In general, the artists involved prove more impressive than the writers, though Joshua Hale Fialkov and Micah Farritor are twin high achievers in "Homesick," set in Paris in 1930. A good concept well enough executed. Olson, Ray

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; First Edition edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034549850X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345498502
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,037,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor, whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and 8 Harvey Awards. Jason is currently editing a series of comic anthologies about colonial New England and the Mid-Atlantic region for Fulcrum Publishing. The first book from the series, COLONIAL COMICS: NEW ENGLAND, 1620-1750, was released October 2014. Jason's first short story collection, the Young Adult sci-fi book TRY LOOKING AHEAD, will be released Spring 2015 from Rosarium publishing . Jason lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and their three dogs, two cats, and a parrot. You can usually find him on a street corner, staring out into the future.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John G. Sitton on July 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Bought this book as I am a big fan of quite a few of the people involved, however I can say I wasn't sure what to expect. The basic primise of it is that different writers and/or artist got ahold of real postcards that had been mailed to different people, then proceeded to write a story of what the letter's on the postcards were about. It's a simple idea. Wish I had thought of it. However...after reading it I know I never could have produced something like this.

The stories in the book range from funny to sad. From Creepy to Inspireing. I honestly can't recomend this book enough to people. I also hope that we see more Postcard stories from all the people involved.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on October 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened edited by Jason Rodriguez is just the graphic novel to make you fall in love with the genre. I know you probably hear graphic novel and think: comic book, superheroes, men in tights, gore, geeks, teenagers. While that may be true of many, this one sets the golden standard to be something better. Rodriguez bought several antique used postcards and became entranced by the short messages on them. A few lines jotted while on vacation or away that spoke volumes to the receiver and whispers at mysteries to us today. 16 short stories by different artists and writers tackle postcards with cryptic, funny, and sentimental verses on them. Each writer imagined the writer and recipient and how the postcard fit into their lives. Sometimes the story answers a question, other times it's the question itself. The simple black and white artwork is evocative in each story. Send Louis His Underwear has short sketchy lines hinting at the darkness within. Homesick's long clean lines somehow manage to convey both the time of the Depression and the feeling of depression. Some stories are stronger than others, but all in all, this is a fantastic collection. It was impossible to put down, and when I did, I was sad it was over. I wanted more: more stories, more answers. From silly to haunting to desperate, these tales run the gamut.
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Format: Hardcover
Jason Rodriguez, editor of Elk's Run, was intrigued by the history behind various postcards he discovered in antique shops. The postcards had been filled out and mailed, complete with postage and destination stamps. Not having access to the actual events and people behind the postcards, he decided to disperse them to authors and comic artists so that they could create their own personalized version of the stories that could be behind each card. The result, Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened, is a collection of these graphic creations contributed by thirty-three artists, including several from DC and Marvel Comics.

The black and white illustrations are creations of the individual artist, which means each style is as unique as the matching storyline. A recurring theme throughout is sadness and melancholy set in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, usually during particularly trying periods in history such as war or depression. Each story opens with a photo of the actual corresponding postcard, allowing the reader a glimpse of the authenticity of its origins. To see the sender's handwriting noting a specific event that was a part of their life reminds the reader that actual people who really existed are behind each piece of correspondence. In an increasingly detached technological society, simple relics such as these remind us of our common humanity.

In several introductions, Rodriguez offers his own interpretation of a postcard and how the artist to whom it was assigned surprised him with a completely contrasting idea. It's evident that few of these postcards can actually be taken at face value, as there can be so many possibilities behind the brief jottings. We can only ponder what actually took place. Most are sad, a few border on the edge of morbidity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awesome time reading this with my son. When he went to bed, I couldn't put it down. Who doesn't love comics? I personally love history and it's easy for my son to learn and understand. He really enjoys it. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
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