- Hardcover: 120 pages
- Publisher: Nobrow Press (November 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1907704930
- ISBN-13: 978-1907704932
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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750 Years in Paris Hardcover – November 3, 2015
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School Library Journal, 2016 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Fascinating in its intimate depictions seen through a wide, objective lens, this will appeal to history and fine-art fans alike.
Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
This is a beautiful book by Vincent Mahe [...] It's the best thing Nobrow has published.
Vice, #5 on VICE’s list of Top Ten Comics of 2015
"This is a masterpiece. Mahé captures the resilience and history of this city like no other historical work I have ever read. This is the kind of comic that takes a person aback and makes them realize the ingenuity that can be found in this medium. I cannot recommend it highly enough, as I know this book’s impact will stay with me for years."
With the smallest of details, from words of storefront signs to the clothing of people to the state of the building itself, Mahé is able to subtly and masterfully inject humor, horror, nostalgia, historical facts and pride into his various images.
"Scenes of everyday life provide pacing between the historic events, and each page is lovingly illustrated. All history books should be as visually rich."
Fast Company Design
"750 YEARS IN PARIS is a literary graphic novel that sets itself apart from the rest of the pack."
Graphic Novel Reporter
From the Back Cover
If you could stand still for 750 years, what could you learn about the world? It's time to find out.
Focusing on one single building in Paris, beginning in the 13th century and making its way towards today, this historically stunning story is the eagerly anticipated debut from Vincent Mahe.
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Top Customer Reviews
All of this is the long way around to "750 Years in Paris". The graphic novel, (without words), consists of 60 representations of the same building in Paris, from its first appearance in 1265 to its modern form today. Each of the 60 illustrations captures a distinct moment in Parisian history. (For those of us who don't know why 1270 is significant there is a two page epilogue that offers a brief explanation of what happened in Paris around many of the featured periods. To save you the suspense, note the Crusaders riding past the building in 1270.)
The building itself, of course, is distinguished mostly just by how well it reflects the styles of the times. It's built, it burns down in part, it's demolished in part and rebuilt repeatedly, it's added to and modified. You end up with a time lapse view that is really quite engaging. But beyond that, there is a remarkably puckish good-humor informing each illustration. There are a lot of visual jokes and sly bits of business built into each drawing, especially as we move closer to the modern era. Just watching which businesses come and go on the first floor of the building is sort of a hoot. And, of course, styles in clothing, vehicles and the like change dramatically from scene to scene.
This is a truly amusing find and a visual treat. If you like drawing, illustrations or graphic design, Mahe is a great find.
Please note that I received an advance will-self-destruct-in-forty-days Adobe ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
See for yourself on the artists Behance gallery:
My first reaction to this book was the illustration. It uses very simple imagery, in the form of faceless people and blocks of color. In some ways it reminded me of the 1950’s children’s books here in the USA. As for the story, there isn’t any text, but the chronology is shown using the building as an example. In each era, the view changes to reflect the times. 1950’s Paris has movie posters, cafes, and trucks passing by. The 1968 unrest has burned wood and barricades. Then the building gets a facelift, and a glass solarium added to the roof. A procession of demonstrators march past, in support of Charlie Hebdo.
Though I don’t want to take attention away from Vincent Mahe’s work, it does remind me even more of Will Eisner’s Dropsie Avenue series. In that set of comics, Eisner gave us 120 years of a South Bronx neighborhood, shown through the changes to a building. New tenants came and went, new owners bought and sold it, good and bad things happened in there. In a lot of ways, Paris is like New York; it was built on history, saw major changes to the nation, was a hotbed of radical ideas, had an immigrant population, changed dramatically every time there was a war, and became a center of food, art, literature, music, and philosophy.
My research shows me that the author is a Paris-based illustrator, and his artwork looks a lot like Herge’s Tintin. Maybe Parisians like this style, with stark blocks of color? As for the publisher, the book came from Nowbrow press, which gave us an equally great book about Robert Moses.