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Veils Paperback – October 1, 1999

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sublimated Victorian sexuality, white slavery, turn-of-the-century orientalism and the precious hokiness of Hollywood-inspired Arabian exoticism combine in this ingeniously illustrated photo/graphic novel. The book uses photographs (as well as digital and painted artwork) of elaborate sets and costumed actors to carry the story, presenting a richly textured Victorian colonial style and exuding a lush, albeit corny, Middle Eastern mystique. Vivian, a young English housewife, accompanies her insufferable husband on a diplomatic mission to an Arabian sultanate. There, they happen upon the local slave market, where Vivian becomes fascinated by a female slave. Later, visiting the sultan along with her husband, Vivian is invited, quite improbably, to visit the royal harem, where she hears the story of Rosalind, a white aristocrat kipnapped into the harem years before. This book offers a savvy reprise of a durable clich?Auptight colonialist West meets seething, unknowable EastAthat is somewhat recharged by a dose of female homoeroticism and Vivian's kinky attraction to the harem and the sexual domination it symbolizes. The story serves as a dark fable on sex, love and culture, but it's really the kitschy, melodramatic photo illustrations that make this costume fantasy an enjoyable, tongue-in-cheek diversion.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563895617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563895616
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,638,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K J on December 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a striking and visually stimulating product. Very smartly written, full of thought provoking issues, and drawn/photographed to the best of 1998's technology. The story follows a Victorian woman's journey to the "orient" and all the orient's mysteries and sterotypes. The protagonist must shed her "veils" in order to find her true calling and desires. For years, woman are preceived in certain ways and must uphold their appearance and thoughts in a certain way to uphold their status. Well, Veils does the opposite. It allows the protagonist the daring decision to liberate her feminity and desires and in the process, sheds all her outer burdens. Truely literary and deep. Deals with the orient, feminism, and of course male domination on the female body. The art? WEll, a blend of hand art and photography makes this stunning and beautiful. The reason for only four stars is because I felt this book could've been expanded with more twists. I felt some scenes were longer than necessary and at times I wanted the plot to go faster. That's what Comic Books are about, right? But overall, this is stunning and deep. Expect a good read. Not a wham bang type of comic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Graphic novel is the name given now to beautiful full length "comics" which come in hardback or trade paperback size. What's truly unusual about this one is that it is not male-oriented. This one was meant for a female audience! The only other graphic novel I've read that does the same is Gaiman and McKean's "Black Orchid". "Veils" totally succeeds as both a story and an art work and you can't ask any more of a "comic book" than that. The art work is done by 2 different artists since 2 different media are used: actual hand drawings/paintings and computer-enhanced photography. Using both together was a brilliant idea. This story of a Victorian English woman, fleeing her abusive English husband into a Middle Eastern harem, is quite tantalizing. None of the names are familiar to me of the people who collaborated on this book but I certainly hope they all plan to work together again and soon!

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Leah on July 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I happened to pass this book on the way to Neil Gaiman. Always fascinated with Islamic culture, particularly its female culture, I gave it a read. What a treat! THe use of traditional art mixed with photography and computer images is wonderful! Recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
The story begins when East meets West, a Victorian English ambassador brings his wife to some un-named Arabic country. It really begins, though, when women of the East meet a woman of the West.
This brief comic is about dualities: rank vs. power, public vs. closed societies, and real vs. fable, to name just a few. The dualities are so much sharper for being so close beside each other, as close and as far away as the harem behind the women's door.
Some of those dualities appear in the comic's imagery, with watercolored stories and photo narrative. I use the term photo loosely, since the images are heavily filtered, colorized, fuzzed or sharpened, and generally hand-tailored to their purpose in the story. The lettering is undistinguished, but suited to the female narrator or to the slightly fabulous story-within-a-story.
On the whole, this magazine is well done, an unusual mix of reality and fantasy. The art is thoughtful and interesting. It's not truly outstanding among comics, but it's one I enjoy and come back to.
This isn't an "adult" comic, but there isn't much here for a young reader.
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