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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Belle and Sebastian, how I love thee
Reading this graphic novel is a uniquely trippy experience. As I read each story, I played the song that inspired the writer or the artist - and I couldn't tell if it was the music that made the story more vivid, or the story that made the music more real. It took me over two hours to finish reading the whole thing and it left me feeling very content and happy, like a...
Published on April 8, 2006 by Lauren

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Concept -- Obviously More Interesting to B&S Fans
This is a pretty interesting idea: build a comics anthology around the works of a musical group. I don't know how or why the Scottish indie band Belle & Sebastian became involved in the project (the book certainly doesn't say anything), but this collection of 24 original works (generally 5-10 pages each) is inspired by songs from their various albums. I have to admit...
Published on October 15, 2006 by A. Ross


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Belle and Sebastian, how I love thee, April 8, 2006
This review is from: Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology (Paperback)
Reading this graphic novel is a uniquely trippy experience. As I read each story, I played the song that inspired the writer or the artist - and I couldn't tell if it was the music that made the story more vivid, or the story that made the music more real. It took me over two hours to finish reading the whole thing and it left me feeling very content and happy, like a good night's sleep after a long, exhausting day.

I can see why Put the Book Back on the Shelf might not be for all fans because some writers made quite a lot of unexpected interpretations. For instance, the strip for the song If She Wants Me has a really sad story, but I imagined the song as having something to do with two young friends playing in a grassy field. Another one of my favorite strips, We Rule the School, is about a kid who finds a ninja in his backpack. The song didn't fit the story too well but never mind - it was still so much fun to read.

In spite of whatever clashing interpretations there might be, Put the Book Back on the Shelf is a must for any Belle and Sebastian fan. Reading the anthology heightened my appreciation of their music, and made me fall in love with the songs I haven't listened to till tonight. I wouldn't recommend this book to those who are merely curious about the band, though. If a taste of their music is what you're looking for, I suggest you listen to these songs instead:

Waiting for the Moon to Rise

Funny Little Frog

Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

If She Wants Me

The Blues are Still Blue
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ease your feet in the sea, July 12, 2008
This review is from: Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology (Paperback)
I stumbled upon this in a small, haphazard bookstore. Being a huge B&S fan, I was elated. I had never heard of it before and just kind of picked it up, bought it, and quickly felt myself singing the songs in my head while reading along with the pages.

Like others have written, some passages don't fit with your exact interpretation of the song. Also, some of the comics could be in a style that isn't of your liking. But it is a really unique idea and a super unique find. Plus, I found that the song illustrated were mostly my absolute B&S songs ever.

Some of them are so beautiful and wistful and remind you of why you fell in love with B&S in the first place. Totally worth it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Concept -- Obviously More Interesting to B&S Fans, October 15, 2006
This review is from: Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology (Paperback)
This is a pretty interesting idea: build a comics anthology around the works of a musical group. I don't know how or why the Scottish indie band Belle & Sebastian became involved in the project (the book certainly doesn't say anything), but this collection of 24 original works (generally 5-10 pages each) is inspired by songs from their various albums. I have to admit while I more or less like B&S when I hear them in the background of parties or in people's cars, I've never been moved to buy anything by them and I couldn't name a single song of theirs. So, while I'm sure B&S fans will have plenty of fun arguing about the visual and narrative interpretation of the songs in this collection, the only basis I have to evaluate the anthology are the comics themselves. Unfortunately, this means I'm missing a rather crucial layer of understanding, but so be it.

In terms of pure story and art, my favorite piece was "Expectations", written by Christopher Butcher and inked by Kalman Andrasofskzy. In ten pages, they skillfully cover a young woman's passage from angry 9th-grade outsider to mature young writer. Another very good piece is Mark Smith and Paul Maybury's five-page "We Rule the School", about a little boy who discovers a little ninja in his backpack. Jennifer de Guzman's story and Brian Beluw's art for "Fancy Dress" combine for an interesting version of the dangers of not speaking one's feelings. Ian Carney and Jonathan Edwards combine for a clever take on office sexual tensions in "Step Into My Office, Baby!" with its weirdly Nixonian protagonist. And Steven Griffin's "If You Find Yourself Caught in Love" ends things on a nice up note, as a young man overcomes post-breakup depression and moves on with his life.

In addition to the above, there were several other pieces I liked simply for their artwork: Andi Watson's Jetsons/Spy vs. Spy pastel stylized '60s art in "I Could Be Dreaming", Brazilian artist Kako's wordless, slick and commercial"Dog on Wheels" (very different from the rest of the book with its "The Fast and the Furious" style), Mathew Armstrong's ink and watercolor "You Made Me Forget My Dreams" (reminiscent in some ways of Gorillaz), Charles Brownstein and Dave Crosland's very nice example of how drawing and collage can have vitality in "Beautiful", and John Heebink's semi-retro ink and limited palette in "Nice Day for a Sulk".

Anyway, it's an interesting concept, albeit one that B&S fans will get a lot more from than readers without a strong interest in the band and its music.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good sequential art for stoplights and toilet trips, March 22, 2013
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This review is from: Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology (Paperback)
This graphic tribute to Belle & Sebastian is the collaborative effort of many talented individuals with their distinct styles and takes on B&S songs. Every passage is quite short, so it makes an excellent coffee table or toilet tank book. It makes a good gift for B&S fans. Some art is better than others, but such is the way with and joy of diversity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible pictures for incredible songs of Belle and Sebastian!, March 8, 2013
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This review is from: Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology (Paperback)
Incredible pictures, colors, printing and lyrics! Nothing better than watching amazing pictures of the lyrics while hearing Belle and Sebastian songs.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for fans!, March 12, 2006
This review is from: Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology (Paperback)
I got into Belle and Sebastain about six or seven years ago, and this is great. Better than a DVD! As I was reading each story, the songs would play in my head, I was smiling the whole time.

If you love Belle don't let this pass you by.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Belle & Sebastian comics - how the hell did this come about?, March 17, 2006
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This review is from: Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology (Paperback)
First off, I'm a rabid Belle & Sebastian fan. I own everything the group has ever released. When a pirate copy of their new album reached my hands, I refused it and bought the record at my local indie music shop. I also used to be a big comics fan. Things tapered off when I got to college, but I will still sheepishly peruse the graphic novel section at Barnes & Noble.

So when I saw that Belle & Sebastian was releasing an anthology of short stores by independent comics creators based on their songs, I was overjoyed. I pre-ordered my copy and waited patiently for the postman. When the package finally arrived, I ripped it open and grasped with sweaty palms what was sure to be the finest piece of comics literature ever created...

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a bit disappointed. I thought that every story would inspire flashes of B&S's music, and that I could literally listen to the stories as well as read them. What I found instead is an inconsistent collection whose creators' interpretations of the songs differed greatly from my own. "Lazy line painter Jane," a song that inspires me to dance around my apartment like an ADD-riddled adolescent, becomes a dark tale of sexual experimentation and herpes. Don't get me wrong, some of the stories are grand; I particularly like the "Legal Man" strip. However I believe the merging of these two different genres with so little input from the original authors severly handicaps the book's potential.

But I'm still the world's biggest Belle & Sebastian fan, so I'll read it to death.
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Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology
Put The Book Back On The Shelf: A Belle And Sebastian Anthology by Jamie S. Rich (Paperback - March 7, 2006)
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