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When I'm Old And Other Stories Paperback – April 14, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

These stories originally appeared in "mini-comix"--photocopied pamphlets self-published with total disregard for their commercial viability. Bell takes full advantage of the opportunity self-publication affords for unfettered creativity, and it is exciting to watch her emerging talent tackle all sorts of subject matter, from the autobiographical (a staple of alternative comics) to the fantastic in stories about turning into a 50-foot woman or, in the title story, becoming an eccentric old crone to adaptations of short stories by Hermann Hesse and D. H. Lawrence to the book's centerpiece, a chronicle of a young woman's descent into madness a la Roman Polanski's film Repulsion. Meanwhile, the tone veers from serious goofiness (turning into a giant doesn't keep Bell from showing up for her waitressing shift) to premature angst, as when she bemoans the loss--in her twenties!--of her youthful genius. Her naive drawing style may turn off comics readers used to a slicker, more conventional approach, but it perfectly suits her youthful candor. Gordon Flagg
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About the Author

Gabrielle Bell was born in England and raised in California. In 1998 She began to collect her Book of miniseries (Book of Sleep, Book of Insomnia, Book of Black, etc), which resulted in When I m Old and Other Stories, published by Alternative Comics. In 2001 she moved to New York and released her autobiographical series Lucky, published by Drawn and Quarterly. Her work has been selected for the 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Best American Comics and the Yale Anthology of Graphic Fiction, and she has contributed to McSweeneys, Bookforum, The Believer, and Vice Magazine. The title story of Bell s book, Cecil and Jordan in New York has been adapted for the film anthology Tokyo! by Michel Gondry. Her latest book, The Voyeurs, is available from Uncivilized Books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Alternative Comics (April 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891867431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891867439
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 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: #1,276,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gabrielle Bell was born in England and raised in California. In 1998 She began to collect her "Book of" miniseries (Book of Sleep, Book of Insomnia, Book of Black, etc), which resulted in When I'm Old and Other Stories, published by Alternative Comics. In 2001 she moved to New York and released her autobiographical series Lucky, published by Drawn and Quarterly. Her work has been selected for the 2007, 2009 and 2010 Best American Comics and the Yale Anthology of Graphic Fiction, and she has contributed to McSweeneys, Bookforum, The Believer, and Vice Magazine. The title story of Bell's book, "Cecil and Jordan in New York" has been adapted for the film anthology Tokyo! by Michel Gondry. Her latest book, The Voyeurs, is available from Uncivilized Books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andromeda on March 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently bought, and devoured, WHEN I'M OLD AND OTHER STORIES. I have stacks of graphic novels in my house, waiting to be read, but I was compelled to pick it up - the art was just so captivating, and obviously very well written.

I appreciate that Bell is able to write both fiction and autobiographical comics. Her autobiographix have a sense of poignancy - they have weight. They are neither meandering, slice-of-life wanks, nor are they drug and/or sex filled escapades. They are full of those emotions and circumstances that life consists of that give it some kind of meaning, even tho we can't always grasp what that meaning is.

This collection is mostly fiction, and tho the stories are short, they are well crafted. So few American alternative cartoonists are able to tell any kind of story - fiction or non-fiction - with a clear beginning, middle and end, a climax, a denouement, and a strong theme. That's why Bell's autobiographix resonant with me so much, because they are obviously crafted, rather than some cartoonist's just spewing a personal story. She never uses "non-linear" writing to simply cover for a lack of writing ability either.

There's no intro in WHEN I'M OLD..., but I assume it is a collection of Bell's early minicomics. I can see her searching for an illustrative style - she experiments in these stories, however, even tho she is experimenting, you can see that Bell is skilled, and her experiments are interesting to witness. In some stories, she uses a great deal of cross hatching, and detailed rendering. In others, she uses more of the contrast look that she uses in her MOME stories. Bell is a master at using spotted blacks, and you can see that develop in this collection.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By kristin gee on October 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
not only are the drawings beautiful in a simple, life-like, and endearing way, but the stories hold their own as well. i only have the zeroxed copies, so i can't wait to get my hands on this book. seriously worth your time if you are a comic-book lover or just into short stories that make you think or smile to yourself, she has a promising future!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tony Groutsis on August 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
The artwork is so detailed and beautiful. The stories are both funny and sad and make you think. Ms. Bell is an extremely talented visual artist and a mature writer. I highly recommend this book!
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Bhattacharya on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
If only all graphic novels were this amazing in both style and substance. I only wish I'd read it earlier!
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