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The Clouds Above Paperback – April 9, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (April 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560979097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560979098
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Crane has made his reputation with subtle, heart-tuggingly depressive comics like The Last Lonely Saturday and Keeping Two, so his new project is a delightful surprise: a rip-roaring adventure about a kid named Simon, who skips school one day with his cat, Jack, and climbs a magic staircase leading skyward. There, they encounter a sad cloud named Perch and get mixed up in a conflict involving him, some nasty storm clouds and an irritable flock of birds. Crane's story piles absurdity on delicious absurdity, operating with the peculiarly linear logic of children's storytelling. Everything's exciting, even if it doesn't make much sense, and the dialogue is witty and bubbly ("Don't say fall when we're up so high," Jack tells Simon. "Say autumn"). Crane has a sense of all of his characters' body language—Jack may talk, but his motion and expressions are totally catlike, and the shifting expressions and indistinct, grasping limbs of the clouds are exactly what clouds would look like if they had body parts. The book is a joy to look at—Crane's loose, gliding lines burst with character, and his compositional gifts make every panel worth contemplating on its own. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From The New Yorker

After heroically escaping his beastly teacher, Simon and his cat, Jack, enter a dream world that only a child unburdened by school could conjure. Like many great adventures, this one begins with a passageway—here a rickety staircase—to a universe situated just beyond the familiar. As Simon and Jack climb, they befriend a helpful cloud, battle heavy weather, trick a flock of belligerent birds, and question their own existence. Crane's drawings are clean, yet full of nuance; his writing is playful and sharp. The artistry is in the detail: Jack's movements are consistently catlike, and the teacher is a mangy figure surrounded by flies, an amalgam of the forces that oppose creativity and imagination.
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The art is beautiful, the story is beautiful.
Stephen Harrison
I'd highly recommend this little book to everyone and it should have a spot on your bookshelf.
Andy Shuping
I also like this book because there is not right or wrong judgement in the book.
N. Gu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Harrison on June 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is so much to say about this book, however I will try and keep it to a minimum. This book is fantastic. It's a short, little book with a story that flows out from the pages and into your imagination, casting you away into childhood. Well, that is, if your childhood contains a talking cat. I thought of how the relationship between the boy and his cat had reminiscent characteristics to the beloved Calvin and Hobbes. However, this story is more fantastical and heart-warming. After reading this, I felt happier and better about myself. I wanted to partake in the same journey the boy does. I recommend this to everyone and show them my copy. The art is beautiful, the story is beautiful. I'm glad I own this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heath Row on December 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
An extremely fun, linear, humorous fantasy in which a boy and his cat go off the beaten path on their way to school only to befriend a cloud, anger the birds, and have a series of adventures. More fantastic than much of Jordan's work, and his line seems to have sharpened. The colors are glorious. Good for children of all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. N. VINE VOICE on August 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jordan Crane's The Clouds Above is a beautifully designed book and an entertaining graphic novel for kids and adults alike. The book's rectangular shape and inside cover ("This Book Belongs To:") reference old-timey children's books, and this lends a nostalgic or youthful quality to its design. But the narrative itself, with a single panel featured on each page, is a pleasing blend of childlike innocence and dark humor. There's enough to Simon and Jack's story of daydreaming and exploration to keep everyone entertained. Highly recommended, especially to graphic novel fans.
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Format: Hardcover
I got this book because I'm a fan of Fantagraphics, yet it's equally true that if I'd come across this square little treasure chest on a table in my favorite East Village boutique I would have been equally entranced. The story is childlike yet not only for children, surreal yet not only for indie hipsters. The Clouds Above is the sort of graphic storytelling where panels will come to mind later, seemingly out of nowhere, etched into the mental landscape. The color palette is also rather unique, and enhances the storytelling.

I showed this book to quite a few people, from family members aged 7, 10 and 12, to college students and various adult friends and acquaintances, and all were charmed, for a wide variety of reasons. A wonderful gift book (even a gift for oneself!)
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By A. Clotilde Houchon on September 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a first Edition, in perfect condition! Need I say more? Apparently, I must!

Thank you to the seller for a wonderful ethic!
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