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The Originals Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; First Edition ~1st Printing edition (November 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401203558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401203559
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Gibbons's masterful skills as writer and artist energize this coming-of-age story set in a slightly skewed world full of familiar frustrations and temptations. Young teen Lel doesn't see anything desirable in what mainstream society offers; he just wants flashier clothes, his own Hover to ride and membership in an elite gang. So he and his buddy Bok join the Originals, a gang with whom they engage in small-scale violence against rival gangs and bask in the acceptance of their peers. Alas, this doesn't last. Lel and Bok begin drifting apart once Lel starts spending time with a girl named Viv and selling drugs for a high-ranking Original. But when another needy gang wannabe carries the violence too far, Lel is faced with making adult decisions. Lel isn't a vicious sociopath, doomed to make selfish choices; he is, however, immature and still wrapped up in his fantasies. Although the story sounds familiar, it feels fresh. Gibbons, who's probably best known as the Watchmen artist, presents an outstanding example of art and layout with this work. The double-page spreads that put readers in the middle of a teen party or a gang rumble are particular standouts. Gibbons deftly captures Lel's world, as Lel experiences the excitement of the unknown and the emptiness that comes with violence.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The 1960s British Mod movement provides the inspiration for Gibbons' graphic novel. There's a twist, though, for The Originals portrays an alternative future in which gangs ride floating "hovers" instead of scooters and gather in seaside towns protected by giant weatherproof domes, while still wearing sharp Italian threads, taking uppers, and hanging out in dance halls. The story centers on Lel and his pal, Bok, and their initiation into the Originals, the coolest gang in town, which ushers them into a world of glamour, gals, and violent street clashes. The portrayal of youth culture is largely familiar, but Gibbons' subtle, futuristic touches lend freshness, and the Mod milieu, informed by Gibbons' own adolescence, seems authentic and exciting. Sharp black-and-white artwork, as stylish as the Mods themselves, imparts a 1960s feel while veering from documentary realism to op-art effects, and Gibbons' skill in his first major scripting effort drives the narrative briskly. The illustrator for some of comics' best writers--he drew Alan Moore's epoch-making Watchmen (1987)--has learned well from such collaborators. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Dave Gibbons passionately roams in three different global playgrounds: The first park is THE AWAKEN GROUP (THEAWAKENGROUP.COM), a consulting firm specializing in creativity, culture and innovation; the second park is a movement of churches not bound by geography that he calls "home" (NEWSONG.NET), throughout Southeast Asia, China, India, Korea, Mexico City, London, and North America. And lastly there is a crazy bunch of people in an organization called XEALOT that focuses on transforming marginalized communities through strategic leadership development and ideation ventures. Dave has written a book on culture and leadership based on an eastern parable called The Monkey and the Fish.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Casey on August 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a decent book, but only because of the striking B&W art work and great layout. For some reason it is set in the future (complete with hoverbikes, apparently the only advance the future has brought us), but the setting makes no difference to what is a predictible story with a simplistic moral ending. As a coming of age story, you see the outcome of the story from the beginning, and Gibbon doesn't offer any twists or turns to liven up the story line. If it were not for the "hook" of mods in the future, there would be no reason to pick this up.

That said, the art is amazing, and the layout makes an other wise dull story worth reading. Skip the hardcover and pick it up in paperback if you like his earlier work or are interested in mod culture.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pygmalion on February 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Dave Gibbons, esteemed illustrator of Alan Moore's landmark graphic novel Watchmen, has once again set a comic book precedent. Revealing for the first time his skill as a writer, which easily matches his artistic prowess, The Originals has dazzled Dave's fans, his colleagues in the comic industry and just about anyone else in the world who reads it.

The Originals is a story of rebellious youth, which has been addressed repeatedly in great literary works (A Clockwork Orange and West Side Story come to mind), but never before in a comic book, and, in my opinion, has been long overdue for one. In the near future, the streets are ruled by hoverbike-riding teenage gangs, constantly feuding and fighting with each other. The most respected gang of all, however, is the Originals, and Lel and Bok, two best friends looking for excitement and power, will do anything to join their ranks.

They accomplish this relatively easily, and are immediately swept into a world of drugs, dancing and violence. They both find the acceptance they desire, the power they sought, and, possibly, the loves of their life. Their paradise is quickly spoiled, however, when the gang war escalates, and people begin to die. Lel and Bok are forced to reconsider this fast-paced lifestyle, or accept it with its full consequences.

The Originals, unlike most other graphic novels, not only has a clear, meaningful underlying theme, but manages to get that theme across while keeping the story simple and concise.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A wiser than usual reader on August 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
give Gibbons a chance as a writer! With past works like World's Finest and the first Batman Vs. Predator series Gibbons has proved he CAN write as well as he draws.

The Originals is one of the best drawn and written graphic novels I've read in a long time.

The graphic novel industry needs more Dave Gibbons and personal works like, The Originals. Pick it up. You won't be disappointed!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful art and page layouts, but I thought the story was not all that original. It felt like I was watching a rebellious youth movie from the '50s. There was a distinct British vibe to it all from what little I've seen of UK gangster movies. Unilke a Hollywood movie, though, I was pleased that the ending was left open and didn't tie up everything in a neat package.
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Format: Paperback
Who knew Dave Gibbons could write? I've read his writer-artist works on Batman, and they were barely worth glancing at once. Now with the Originals, Dave Gibbons takes his talents as a writer-artist to new, impeccable heights. The story he's telling is the oft-used and abused rival gang yarn. Boy joins gang, has fun, falls in love, someone dies, someone dies in retaliation, etc., you get the picture. It's a format we're all familiar with, but Gibbons uses it to its full potential. The set-up is mods (the Originals) versus the greasers (Dirt), taking place in a modern future with hover-bikes, where guns are outlawed.

Gibbons does two things that separate this story from any other rival-gang story we've scene before. First is his delivery. His dynamic use of panels and text make this feel like you're in the scenes watching them firsthand. The book is a few inches smaller than a regular comic book, but it still feels huge and enveloping. The second thing is the ending. Instead of the end resolution being the product of things spinning out of control, the final defeat of our protagonist is subtle and quiet. Of course, that anti-climax comes after an awesome scene of retribution-filled vengeance.

Is the Originals original? Not exactly. But it still feels new and important. I hope theirs a sequel.

writing: [7/10]
art: [9/10]
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Format: Paperback
The Originals was exactly that, original. Gibbons art work, as always, is fantastic and pleasant to look at. The world that he has created in The Originals is intriguing and stylistic. The story of the the book isn't very deep, fairly basic plot, but that is made up for in his artwork and in the action sequences. It's a good quick read if your looking for something to keep you entertained for a while, though it won't have as lasting an effect as something like Watchmen.
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