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Gone to Amerikay Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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"GONE TO AMERIKAY s a wonderful story, lushly illustrated, full of music and passion, twists and turns, beautifully evoking the Irish immigrant experience in three different times and sewing them all together brilliantly at the end. A real treat, for those who love New York history, or just a great story."—Kevin Baker, author of PARADISE ALLEY, DREAMLAND, LUNA PARK
"GONE TO AMERIKAY is not just a great book, it's an important book. In a marketplace where every season brings another supposed Big Event, this is the real deal. It uses the immigrant experience to talk about us, who we are, how and why we came here, with some echoes of where we might be going. The art is superb, containing some of the best and most evocative images of the period you're ever going to see, and the story is wide in scope but intimate in its details as it flashes forward and backward in time. Forget the hype, this is going to be THE book of 2012."—J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN:YEAR ONE, BABYLON FIVE, CHANGELING)
About the Author
Colleen Doran's Irish antecedents named her Colleen, the Irish word for "girl," so there would be no confusion. Colleen Doran is American, therefore her ancestors are from many places. Colleen has written and/or drawn lots of comics and graphic novels like Mangaman, Sandman, A Distant Soil, Wonder Woman and Captain America. She has won a lot of nice prizes, and lectured in a lot of nice places. She also speaks as a creator rights advocate.
Top Customer Reviews
The illustrations are vibrant and detailed. The illustrator (Colleen Doran) meticulously recreates 19th century New York (including the infamous 5 Corners district and the Dead Rabbits gang), the 1960s Greenwich Village scene and today's Big Apple. She manages to easily allow the reader to jump between timelines knowing exactly whose story we are following on every page.
The author (Derek McCulloch) relies heavily on dialog (as opposed to narration) to let the characters tell the story. The characters use the slang and colloquialisms of the time and gain their own voices in your mind as you read their words.
The story itself is complex and requires the readers attention. This is not a comic book, it is an illustrated novel. If you don't pay attention the first time through you will have to read it again to understand the ending. Which is not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.
McCulloch writes with a deftness of touch that staggers, providing each character with a distinctive voice and strong motivation. These characters get under your skin, their quiet strength in the face of adversity stays with you long after you've put the book down. And, although the stories in the three periods seem separate at first, the author neatly ties everything together at the end.
Doran's art has never been better. Each page is a mini-masterpiece of story-telling brilliance, and the eye-popping detail brings each period to life in a way that's never confusing for the reader. It's often the small incidents she shows in the background that impress most, especially the antics of the children. Doran has always had great felicity in her depiction of the young, and the relationship between Ciara and Maire O'Dwyer, as shown in the pitch perfect body language, will tear your heart out. A word of praise too must go to José Villarrubia, whose subtle colors -- he uses a different palette for each time period -- add immeasurably to the art's overall success.
A simply beautiful book.
The author is Derek McCulloch who has not compromised on content to appeal to young readers. This is adult fare in language and content but not overly crude or gruesome. Homosexuality, murder and criminality—including the involvement of a wealthy Jewess—are important story elements. But there is a lot of sensitivity and sentimentality. Lots of song lyrics, some might say too many but the theme of the book revolves around singing, and one song in particular. McCulloch ties the three time-streams together with a ghostly supernatural interlude which I felt ambivalent about. Up to that point I admired the realism the author was portraying and that this was compromised by the incursion of the supernatural. Personally I wish he had found a different way to conclude the book. I would give three and a half stars for the story but with my bias for the outstanding artistic production I have given the book five stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautifully drawn graphic novel that recounts the tale of an Irish mother and her young daughter who leave for New York in 1870 to stay with an cousin while waiting for... Read morePublished 4 days ago by F. Orion Pozo
In 1870, 1960 and 2010, three different people come to America for three different reasons, but their stories are destined to intertwine in this excellent graphic novel. Read morePublished on May 8, 2012 by Robert Dahlen
If you enjoy graphic novels that tell stories of human interest and steer clear of caped heroes, "Gone to Amerikay" will appeal to you. Read morePublished on April 18, 2012 by ERSInk . com