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Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays Paperback – May 19, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Villard (May 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345505298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345505293
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,502,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The big-label relaunch of the once–self-published Syncopated anthologies (a New Yorker for the comics set) is a uniformly classy affair with only a few slow moments. As the title suggests, the book collects meaty article presented as comics. Series editor and curator Burford contributes two pieces, one of which might be the book's high point: a study of the life of Boris Rose, who built probably the world's largest collection of live jazz recordings, still locked in storage and most of it never heard by anyone but Rose himself. Alex Holden provides an amazing bit of picto-journalism in West Side Improvements, the story of Manhattan's riverside train tracks and the vibrant graffiti culture that grew in their tunnels. Nick Bertozzi's How and Why to Bale Hay is a somewhat traditional graphical memoir; Greg Cook's What We So Quietly Saw is anything but traditional, using only silhouettes to tell selected stories from inside Guantánamo Bay. Only Dave Kiersh's Welcome Home, Brave fails to fully satisfy, due to a flat narrative. An elegant and smart volume, well worth the space on the collector's shelf. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—This outstanding, innovative collection, featuring an array of newer artists, offers engaging topics for serious graphic novel enthusiasts. From baling hay and life in the New York subway to a history of the postcard and the race-based 1921 Tulsa Massacre, readers will gain new insights into some forgotten moments. The graphic styles include pen silhouettes, pen-and-ink drawings, scratchboards, and other well-executed illustrations. History buffs will appreciate this accessible collection of varied art forms and areas of investigative interest depicted in the essays.—Gregory Lum, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
The effective presentation of history can be done in many ways, in this instance it is done by a series of comics drawn in black and white. In most cases, the story is not about a major event, although they were important just the same. Some of the stories are:

*) A child making hay in the summers
*) A brief history of the postcard
*) A commentary on the activity in the penal facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
*) The race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921.
*) The experiences of a couple traveling to the People's Republic of China to adopt a baby.
*) Street musicians playing along the New York subway.
*) The life of psychologist Erik Erikson.

The presentation is accurate and given that the modern generation is more visually stimulated than previous ones, most likely a better way to teach history. My favorite in the group is the one about the race riots in Tulsa. There is no way to describe this other than to say that it was a massacre of black people by white people. It is a dark day in American history and the more light that is shined on it the better. Young people need to realize that such events did happen in this country.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lasiuta on May 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
His day job has nothing on "Syncopation." By day, Brendan Burford is a normal, overworked, underpaid editor at King Features, and once night falls, his editorial senses awaken and the tick, tock of his office clock syncopates in creative rhythym...

At first glance, "Syncopated" is just another collection of newly popular illustrated fiction. For years, comic books, comic strips, and Europe appreciated and fed the art form. Today, it is different. With Harvey Pekar receiving incredulous acclaim from 'experts', the market and doors have opened. Having read Pekar's work, I appreciate very little of it, and "Syncopated" is far superior. Burford has gathered 16 picto essays and the topics discussed range from baling hay (and a new appreciation of it) to the story of the Dvorak keyboard. Inbetween, are delightful tales that might appear on "The Rest of the Story" or in Readers Digest. The storytelling ranges form standard 3 x 3 panels to full page panels, and yet few of the artists would be deemed mainstream.

You will not cry. You may laugh. Once you read this, you will put it down, and realize that Mr Burford has outdone Pekar, and thus, "Syncopated" becomes a victory celebration.

Thanks.
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By A. Hallatt on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Great comics impress with their artwork and pithy writing and this collection is no exception, with cartoonists like Rina Piccolo, Nate Powell and Brendan Burford getting to stretch their creative legs across the pages.

But the most impressive part of the "picto-essays" is that they leave you with something to think about, long after you have finished reading (which, in my case, was at two minutes to midnight, having devoured the book in one sitting).

Because of this, I'm off to wikipedia to research the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921, I'll be delving into my computer to see how I can switch to the Dvorak way of typing and I'll never see hay bales in the same way again.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynne A. Winner on July 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book gives you the opportunity to read traditional text topics and a comic format. interesting.
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