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Grant Morrison's 18 Days Hardcover – November 23, 2010
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The added narrative is quite engrossing too, at least in style and presence. I don't know if it is possible to do justice in terms of substance and depth as an alternate narrative since we're talking about one of the 2 great Indian epics, so I'll hold off on that ...
One thing to note is that the narrative is non-linear, which is a brilliant ( and quite fitting) touch !
Note that this is book 1 of a series and if I'm right, book 2 hasn't turned up and I don't know if the authors will resume. That might be a turn-off for eager buyers but it shouldn't subtract from the good work done here.
Once you get over the initial disappointment of it being merely an idea-pad and not quite a complete story, you can then focus on what you can get out of it. This is where truly the level of imagination and thought processes that go into the making of such a graphic novel hit you.
You will see little text snippets of dialogue, and perhaps the reading will feel a lot like reading a film script. (Not surprising since this was hypothetically being pitched as an animated project). Meanwhile the artwork around the scene fills the pages with rich colour and detail.
The artwork is simply spectacular and very very in keeping with the tone of Morrison's ideas. He has sketched out the Panavas and Kauravas as celestial warriors with their own unique armor et al. Mukesh Singh's artwork alone is enough to make this a book you'll keep returning to often. I'd be curious to see if there are posters of his artwork available.
All in all, this book is NOT a completed graphic novel. It's a sketchbook meant to detail a work in progress. However the scale of it makes you quite eager to see the final product for yourself. Would at the very least, make a top notch coffee table book to flip through at leisure.
Once I'd digested the visuals (which took some several flip-throughs), there's Morrison's design diaries and notes to dig into. This is no less exciting, as the man is an exciting visionary and reinventor - he knows his mythology and his archetypes. Supposedly a treatment for the basic setup and first three episodes of an animated series "still in production", I haven't managed to find any solid information on whether it is languishing in preproduction hell or if work is actually coming along. In some ways, it might be even more exciting like this - unfettered ideas, possibilities positively exploding out of the text. The notes echoes the hyperstructure of the planned narrative.
All in all, it is a ridiculous bargain at this price. I will treasure this book.
As a practising Hindu, the story and the characters are familiar but their visual take is surprising. The artwork is as usual, brilliant. But the sheer scale and detail blows the mind away. A mixture of comic art and concept art, a must have book for anyone wishing to see Grant Morrison's brilliant take on the spic Mahabharata.
Unfortunately reading it is a little boring. It's like a storyboard, instead of a script. But it sounds like it never got picked up and funded. Does Mr. Morrison know about kickstarter.com? I feel like he could put this out and get enough cash to make something happen.
This might be evidence that Dynamite is responding to customer feedback: the Second Printing of the book, which is what I have received from Amazon, is printed on appropriately substantial paper. If you have been on the fence about this book and paper quality was the sticking point, that issue seems to be resolved. I am very glad I bought it. It's gorgeous and I don't feel like the paper is going to dissolve in my hands.