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Dogs and Water Hardcover – November 19, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Nilsen creates an epic landscape of desolation and doubt.” ―NewCity Chicago
“Nilsen's sparse, thinly rendered line work adds to the level of existential discomfort that the artist seems to excel at . . . Dogs and Water stays with you a lot longer than most recent comics, easily marking it as one of the best of the year.” ―The Patriot-News
“Nilsen's art is filled with amazing white space showing a true sense of human loneliness. Above all else, the work echoes our need to be heard, even if it is only by ourselves.” ―Punk Planet
Top Customer Reviews
Anders has amazing control over his characters and you can tell this artist knows what he wants and doesn't stop until he gets it. I can imagine these pages being redrawn quite a bit. But the final product rarely misses the mark.
Dogs and Water is quite unlike any other graphic novel I've ever run across; if you turn your head and squint right, it's got a bit of Renee French running through it, but without a shred of the absurdity French brings to her wonderful little books. Or Shaun Tan without the fantasy elements, or the hope. Nilsen (Monologues for the Coming Plague) has crafted something here that's deeply depressing, lonely, and yet compelling enough that once you've cracked the cover, you'll end up reading it in one sitting, wondering just what the hell is going on, but not really caring all that much whether anything actually is.
The plot involves a guy with a stuffed bear tied to his knapsack wandering through what seems to be the Alaskan tundra. (You'll understand why I assume this is Alaska about halfway through the book.) The bear is his only companion, and he holds conversations with it. Does this make him lonely, or mentally unstable? We have no idea. He's definitely paranoid, despite the animals he runs across being generally friendly. Soon enough he runs out of food, and his wandering becomes increasingly desperate as he searches for more.
Yeah, that's pretty much it, though there is a climax to it (I don't really want to spoil what happens in the final third of the book, but Nilsen does a fantastic job of setting it all up). It's a very cold, one-man Waiting for Godot, perhaps. Yes, I'm still trying to find something to compare it to, and the fact that nothing really fits is a mark in the book's favor. You will have no idea what it is Anders Nilsen is on about here, but most likely it won't matter one bit. This is a glorious nightmare, a vicarious depression, and it deserves your attention. *** ½
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A truly exceptional read, with many layers and open to interpretation. Would suggest to anyone looking for a good read where the meaning isn't handed to them on a silver platter.Published 11 months ago by rockface2.0