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Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened Hardcover – July 24, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The premise behind this anthology is clever: editor Rodriguez bought a batch of vintage picture postcards, gave them to various cartoonists from varying backgrounds and commissioned 16 short stories inspired by the brief, sometimes cryptic messages written on each card, preceded by reproductions of the cards themselves. The biggest names in the book are Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner, who, true to form, write about the postcard that introduced the two of them; the most engaging piece, though, is Stuart Moore and Michael Gaydos's deadpan but deeply silly tale of traveling tic-tac-toe hustlers. Other highlights include Phillip Hester's elaboration on an Easter card, concerning an unlikely spiritual awakening, and Joshua Hale Fialkov and Micah Farritor's subdued sketch about a pair of Americans in France during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, many stories lapse into sentimentality (like the saccharine contributions by Tom Beland and James W. Powell) or stretch the book's premise awkwardly. One piece somehow twists a whimsical postcard into a brutal horror story; another is an unfunny parody of old superhero comics. And curiously, only a few stories address the images on the cards at all or do much with the peculiar and evocative visual style of those pictures. (June)
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From Booklist

Bored on an antiquing jaunt with his girlfriend, editor Rodriguez discovered the joy of old, mailed postcards. Their brief messages and their writers' and recipients' genders conjured ordinary life stories otherwise buried in the past. Sharing his enthusiasm and cards with comics creators, he suggested they elaborate on what they saw in cards that intrigued them. This book contains 16 of their responses, realistic stories that, since the preponderance of their inspirations are dated 1900–25, unfold with the sad inevitability of literary naturalism, in its heyday during that period. Most tell of broken faith, promises, and friendships; some are their protagonists' decades-later perspectives on the past. Only one, an affectionate masked-crime-fighter parody, is fantastic. Two are set much later and follow, respectively, a soldier shipping out to North Africa in 1942 and the marriage of nonfiction comics standard-bearers Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner. In general, the artists involved prove more impressive than the writers, though Joshua Hale Fialkov and Micah Farritor are twin high achievers in "Homesick," set in Paris in 1930. A good concept well enough executed. Olson, Ray

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; First Edition edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034549850X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345498502
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,536,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John G. Sitton on July 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Bought this book as I am a big fan of quite a few of the people involved, however I can say I wasn't sure what to expect. The basic primise of it is that different writers and/or artist got ahold of real postcards that had been mailed to different people, then proceeded to write a story of what the letter's on the postcards were about. It's a simple idea. Wish I had thought of it. However...after reading it I know I never could have produced something like this.

The stories in the book range from funny to sad. From Creepy to Inspireing. I honestly can't recomend this book enough to people. I also hope that we see more Postcard stories from all the people involved.
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Format: Hardcover
Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened edited by Jason Rodriguez is just the graphic novel to make you fall in love with the genre. I know you probably hear graphic novel and think: comic book, superheroes, men in tights, gore, geeks, teenagers. While that may be true of many, this one sets the golden standard to be something better. Rodriguez bought several antique used postcards and became entranced by the short messages on them. A few lines jotted while on vacation or away that spoke volumes to the receiver and whispers at mysteries to us today. 16 short stories by different artists and writers tackle postcards with cryptic, funny, and sentimental verses on them. Each writer imagined the writer and recipient and how the postcard fit into their lives. Sometimes the story answers a question, other times it's the question itself. The simple black and white artwork is evocative in each story. Send Louis His Underwear has short sketchy lines hinting at the darkness within. Homesick's long clean lines somehow manage to convey both the time of the Depression and the feeling of depression. Some stories are stronger than others, but all in all, this is a fantastic collection. It was impossible to put down, and when I did, I was sad it was over. I wanted more: more stories, more answers. From silly to haunting to desperate, these tales run the gamut.
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Format: Hardcover
A really cool anthology concept: you take some of the hottest indy talents around, give them an old-timey postcard, and have them craft a story based on the piece of mail. Editor and writer

Jason Rodriguez is an amateur deltiologist (he collects postcards.) Taking from his personal collection, he assigned some of his peers to create stories that might be true but aren't necessarily.

Some of the stories are based solely on the image on the front of the postcard. Some epics involved only the shorts messages scribed on the back and a couple is a combination of both front image locale and on-the-back greeting.

Accepting Rodrigeuz's challenge include Michael Gaydos, Stuart Moore, Phillip Hester, and underground comix legend, Harvey Pekar. There's a real mix of themes and emotions in these stories. Some are quite beautiful while others are downright tragic. There's high drama in just about every tale. Yet, I don't recall laughing once, as none of these not-so-true stories are what you would consider comedies. Even the Pekar story which is based on how he meet his wife via postcard correspondence is twinged with sadness. And to my chagrin, more than one story ends with that blasted pet peeve of mine- the open-ended ending!

If you are looking for a smile, you won't find them in this book. Yet, despite the sadness that colors every story, there's something that just made me keep turning the page wanting to know what happens next. With some explicit language and adult themes, this is not a book for kids. But this is duly worth a read if you can find this 2007 collection published by Villard.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awesome time reading this with my son. When he went to bed, I couldn't put it down. Who doesn't love comics? I personally love history and it's easy for my son to learn and understand. He really enjoys it. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
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